When can a Parent Request a Modification to the Child Support Order?

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “How is the amount of child support decided in North Carolina?”


A lot of responsibility comes with being a parent. From infant to adult, parents have to provide their children with mental, emotional, and financial support. When a divorce occurs, these duties do not change, and chances are one parent will be required to pay child support. These payments will likely continue until the child is 18 years old, but the amount that is paid can easily be altered if a parent requests a modification to the child support order.


calculator-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Child-Support-Modification-Lawyer-300x200How is Child Support Calculated?


Some parents may not agree with how much they are paying in child support, but the system has a method to ensure the amount being paid is fair. Many states use set guidelines to determine how much parents will pay in child support. These guidelines require the number of children in need of financial support, the income of both parents, expenses and a host of other factors to be examined because they want the child to receive a sufficient amount of support from both parents. Once this amount is determined, in many cases, the non-custodial parent is the party who will be required to make regular, timely payments.


When can a Parent Request a Modification to the Child Support Order?


Once a parent has been ordered to pay child support, he or she must pay a set amount every week. Certain circumstances may arise, and as a result, a parent will consider requesting modification to the child support order. Typically, when a parent wishes to submit this type of request, he or she can do so every three years. However, a request can be made by either parent at any point in time as long as a parent experiences a change in income or there is a change in the child’s needs. For example, the parent loses a job, gets promoted, or the child participates in extracurricular activities.


Will the Courts Need Proof or Documentation Prior to Approving the Request?


With all requests being subject to review, prior to the approval of any request, multiple factors will need to be examined. For example, if the non-custodial parent requests a modification due to a decrease in income, the courts will review his or her employment status, income, and any other information necessary to make an informed decision. Should this request be made because the child’s needs have changed, courts will also need proof before making a decision. Parents should keep in mind that there is always the chance that the child support payments could be increased, decreased, or remain the same.


No parent is exempt from his or her duties. Whether a parent wants to take responsibility or not, all children need to be supported and properly cared for, and child support payments are a way to guarantee the child gets what he or she needs. It is no different for children living in North Carolina, so parents who wish to request child support or a modification to their child support order can contact a family law attorney at Arnold & Smith, PLLC for assistance. If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter and need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.







The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.






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