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Modification of Child Support Orders

​What if the obligor cannot afford the amount outlined in the child support guidelines?

The obligor may ask the court to award less, but he/she will need to convince the judge that the guidelines are unjust or inappropriate in his/her case.  The judge will look at many factors, such as:

  • Age and needs of the child(ren).
  • Child care expenses incurred by the obligor and obligee in order to work.
  • Costs of medical/dental insurance.
  • Factors consistent with the best interest of the child.

What if the obligor loses his/her job or is unable to pay child support?

The obligor should notify the court immediately if he/she loses their job, makes less money that he/she used to, or becomes physically disabled and unable to earn an income.  However, it is not enough to just tell the court clerk or the BCSE, the obligor must obtain an order from the judge to temporarily or permanently reduce the obligation amount, or eliminate the amount of future payments.  The obligor can contact the circuit clerk in the county in which the order was issued to see what options are available.  
     Family Court Forms

Who can request modification or review of the child support case and obligation?

Either party, the obligee or the obligor, have the right to ask the BCSE to review a child support order three years after the order became effective.  Either party can request a review of the order if it has been in effect less than three years if substantial change in circumstances can be shown.  The request should be made at your local BCSE office in the county handling the case.  The review may find that the amount should be decreased, increased or stay the same.  Medical Insurance may also be added to the order.


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