Child Support Modification

The question that I often answer is how long do I have to wait to modify my child support? That often depends. Sometimes child support can be modified after so much time has passed, or sometimes child support can be modified sooner, and for other reasons.
 
Before child support is modified, you need to meet certain criteria. Sufficient grounds for modifying child support include the following:
 
– A substantial change in circumstances

– The need to provide for the child’s health care needs

– Thirty-six (36) months have passed since the child support order was issued

– Thirty-six (36) months have passed since an administration hearing was granted (under Section 40-5-277 M.C.A.)

– Thirty-six (36) months have passed since an administrative order was issued denying a modification because of the applicant’s failure to meet certain criteria for the modification

– A change of custody of the child

The million dollar questions is often, “What constitutes a substantial change of circumstances ?” A “substantial change of circumstances” includes but is not limited to the following:

– A 30% increase or decrease in one parent’s income

– The adoption, emancipation, or death of a child in households where more than one child are the subjects of the guideline calculation, if the existing order is not a per child amount

– A permanent move of the child from one parent’s home to the other parent’s home that is in writing

– A permanent move of the child from one parent’s home to the other parent’s home as ordered by a court

– A permanent move of the child from one parent’s home to the other parent’s home that has continued for ninety (90) days prior to the review for child support

– Developmental or special needs of the child that were not considered in the original order

– Evidence that the original child support order was set without reference to the Child Support Guidelines

Additional information can be obtained through Montana Child Support Enforcement Division at www.dpphs.mt.gov/csed/

Child Support

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