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When can I change child support in North Dakota?

As a divorced parent who resides in North Dakota, you probably wonder how the child support system in the state will change the support order in your custody arrangement. As the North Dakota Child Support website explains, a support order does not automatically change. Since a support order is a court order, only a court may change it.

Additionally, you or your co-parent cannot seek a support change at any time for any reason. There are some requirements for when and why you may try to adjust the amount of support.

During the 18-month review

There is an 18-month rule in place for North Dakota Child Support to review your support amount. This is to make sure that no situations such as changes in the law or your family situation dictate a change in your support. If such a situation exists, ND Child Support will assist with the process of asking a court to change the support order.

The 18 month rule applies to the time when a court first granted your support order, or from the last time ND Child Support reviewed your support, or from the last time a court changed your order. However, there are some exceptions to the 18-month rule that could allow you or your co-parent to ask for an early change in support.

Exceptions to the 18-month rule

The state of North Dakota allows you to seek an early review if your support order amounts to a zero dollar amount. Another exception is if the parent owing support began receiving Supplemental Security Income or other payments for disability. You may also seek a change if the last support order took disability payments into account but the disabled parent stopped receiving payments because the parent is no longer disabled.

The government may also review your order in the event the support order covered multiple children but one of those children is no longer eligible for support. It may be that your son or daughter has reached the legal age and no longer requires support payments.

Taking action privately

It is also possible to seek an early review of your support if you and your co-parent act privately and your situation does not meet any of the other exceptions to the 18-month rule. Your actions may involve going to court with your own legal representation to seek changes. Ideally, you and your co-parent can come together to agree on a support amount based upon the paying parent’s ability to pay.