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Can child support be modified?


If you get divorced with young children, the child support obligations noted in the divorce may apply for years or even more than a decade from the date of the divorce.

Life rarely stays exactly the same for a decade. If things change, can you modify the child support agreement in any way? 

The modification must come from the court

First and foremost, as you likely hoped, modifications are possible. Do not assume that you are stuck with the payments until your child goes to college. 

That said, courts do not take modifications lightly. You must present a reason for the modification and they have to sign off on it and give you an updated court order. Reasons may include:

  • Your hours at work got reduced, and so did your income.
  • You lost your job and now have no income — and you’re not likely to find a new job soon.
  • You did find a new job, but it pays far less than your old job.
  • The costs of raising the child have increased or decreased substantially.

No matter the reason, the key takeaway for any divorced parent is that modifications have to be approved. If you’re struggling to pay, you still need to make every effort to do so. Don’t just neglect the payments. Don’t tell your ex that you’re modifying them yourself. Go to court and do it through the proper channels or there could be serious ramifications. 

How can you seek a modification?

Interested in asking for a modification? It can be complex and you must do it properly, so take the time to learn the precise steps you need to take to protect your relationship with your children. 

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