Child support orders are open for modification.
In North Carolina, you must meet certain requirements to receive approval, including having an acceptable reason for your request.
The court’s standard for any decision regarding children is the child’s best interest. If you file for a modification of your child support order, you must prove that it is necessary and that it is in the child’s best interest for the court to grant your request.
Acceptable reasons to request a modification
Some common and acceptable reasons to request a modification include:
- The initial child support order occurred more than three years prior to your request, and the change in support you request would alter it by 15% or more.
- You experienced a significant decrease in income through no action of your own.
- There was a significant change in the physical custody agreement.
- The child begins to receive public assistance.
- You took a lower-paying job, voluntarily decreasing your income after your child’s needs decreased.
- The needs of your child suddenly changed. For example, the child required medical care or additional educational assistance.
- One or more of your children included in the agreement reached the age of 18.
Not all changes in your income will qualify for a modification of child support. For example, if you or your ex-spouse filed for bankruptcy, that would not affect your child support agreement.
The best case scenario for everyone is for both parents to agree on changes to support. Then you can validate the change quickly, as long as it does not disrupt the child’s life.