ATA NBTA | The National Board of Trial Advocacy Association of Trial Lawyers of America Virginia Trial Lawyers Association National Asociation of Distinguished Counsel | Nation's Top One Percent | NADC

Changes can occur to the amount of a child support obligation

When an initial child support order is made, it sets what the amount of a person's child support obligation is. An important thing to note is that this child support payment amount will not necessarily stay at this initially set level throughout the entirety of the time a person holds a child support obligation; it can be possible for changes to be made. Here in Virginia, one of the mechanisms through which the amount of a child support obligation can be changed is a child support order review.

In such reviews, the child support order and the family situation is looked over and a decision is made as to whether the amount of the child support obligation is fine where it currently is, or if it needs to be decreased or increased.

Typically, when it comes to a given child support order, such a review can occur every three years. However, there is a special situation in which a child support order can receive a review outside of this typical timeline. This situation is when there have been significant circumstance changes. Things that can qualify as significant circumstance changes include:

  • A parent's income changing by 25 percent or more.
  • An at least 25 percent change in child-related health care costs.
  • Child care costs changing by 25 percent or more.
  • There is now another child that requires consideration.

Thus, many factors can impact whether a given child support order is eligible to be modified through a review. Individuals who are interested in pursuing a child support order review should consider having a discussion with a Virginia family law attorney about whether their child support order has review eligibility.

Source: Virginia Department of Social Services, "Child Support Frequently Asked Questions," Accessed Oct. 9. 2014