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PLM Family Law

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Can you change child support payments?

If a child support order was part of your divorce, a judge may have set the amount you pay or receive based on a variety of factors, including your income and the specific needs of your children.

However, these factors are not likely to remain the same as your separate lives change and your children grow. As in other states, in North Dakota, you may be able to increase or decrease payment amounts by requesting that the court review your current support order.

When can you request a support adjustment?

With a few exceptions, Child Support Services may be willing to review support amounts if it has been at least 18 months since a judge approved the order. The court may adjust payments either upward or downward depending on how your financial circumstances have changed.

When might the court approve an adjustment?

When requesting an adjustment, you may have to provide detailed information about your finances in order to prove to the court that it should make a change. Examples of situations where the court may be likely to approve modification include:

  • A major change in your income or your ex-spouse’s income
  • A significant increase in your children’s educational, medical or other care needs
  • A child turning 18 or graduating from high school
  • A substantial change in the cost or availability of medical insurance coverage for your children, yourself or your former spouse

Whether you need to receive higher payments to provide for your children or you can no longer keep up with current amounts, remember that providing accurate and complete information may be crucial for ensuring the success of your petition.