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How do I modify my child support order?

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2024 | Family Law |

Many Indiana parents rely on child support to meet their child’s needs. Child support payments help ensure a child has a fulfilling and healthy life.

If you have a child support order, there may come a time when the amount you receive can no longer cover all child-related expenses. The cost of raising a child sometimes increases as a child gets older and becomes involved in more activities.

Substantial and continuous change

Indiana law allows you to modify your child support order. However, you must show that a substantial change in your circumstances justifies the modification. The substantial change in circumstances must also be continuous.

For example, a one-time event, such as a medical emergency, that results in a larger than usual hospital bill, might not be enough for a child support modification, but if the emergency results in a long-term medical condition with increased expenses, a modification could be granted.

Additional requirements

Furthermore, your child support order must not have been modified for at least one year prior to your request for modification and the modified amount must be at least 20% higher or lower than the amount in your current order.

These rules prevent constant requests for modification and reduce the number of petitions that may only result in minimal differences in the amount.

Examples of a substantial and continuous change

Some common situations involve major changes in your financial situation, a change in your family size or a change in the custody schedule.

After you file a petition for child support modification, a court will typically analyze the specific reason for your request, as well as the current incomes of you and your co-parent.

It can be difficult to know if your situation meets the definition of a substantial and continuous change in circumstances. You should carefully consider your situation before filing to know your chance of success.