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Information about modifying a child support order

A child support order outlines the amount and frequency of payments from one parent to the other. The recipient of the money must use it to pay for the child’s daily and healthcare needs.

Although this amount remains the same throughout the terms of the order, either party can request a modification under certain circumstances.

Periodic review

According to the Alabama Department of Human Resources, the department will conduct a review of a current support order if one of the parents requests the review in writing. However, this review only occurs once every 36 months. If a parent requests a change sooner than this three-year time frame, he or she must prove that there is a major change in financial circumstances.

Justifiable reasons for modifications

According to the Alabama Judicial System, not only must there be a significant material change in circumstances, but the change must be an ongoing one if a judge considers a modification. The petitioner must show that there is at least a 10% change in financial circumstances from the last child support order. However, even with proof of this variation, a judge has discretion in regard to authorizing the modification.

The judge may also grant a modification request if the request is in reference to the healthcare needs of the child. At a minimum, the order must include public or private healthcare coverage, cash medical support or both.

If both parents agree to a modification and the judge approves it, there is no need for a court hearing. If only one parent wants the modification, he or she must file the paperwork, and then a hearing will determine the decision.

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