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When child support modification can occur

When a judge orders child support, this amount remains the same unless there are justifiable reasons for a modification. The state periodically reviews child support orders.

However, if a parent is experiencing a situation that may deem a change is appropriate, he or she may request a review in writing. The parent must then be able to prove substantial changes in circumstances.

Periodic review

According to the Alabama Department of Human Resources, the department will generally review child support orders only once every 36 months. This occurs to determine if an order is consistent with the current support guidelines or if there is a need for medical support.

Requirements for support modification

If a parent’s circumstances change, he or she may request an order review prior to the 36-month timeline. According to the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration, the parent requesting the change must be able to prove a substantial change in circumstances. This may include a job loss, promotion, decrease in pay or an unexpected increase in expenses.

A judge will generally not approve of a support modification if the amount varies less than 10% from the original order. However, the judge also has discretion and can authorize a change even if it does not meet the 10% rule. A judge may also deny modification when the 10% variance is present if the modification would not be equitable or fair.

Regardless of a change in circumstances, the need to provide health insurance or other healthcare support is a valid reason to modify a support order, even if the dollar amount remains the same.

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