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Can a child support order be modified?

In Missouri, there are times when, after a child support order has been issued by a judge, the financial circumstances of the parties or the residential custody of the child significantly change. In such cases, either parent may file a motion to modify the child support order with the court that has jurisdiction over the case.

Modification may be requested if there has been a substantial and ongoing change that has occurred, such as a 20 percent or more change in income, a change in disability status or a change in the child’s residence or needs. Missouri law provides a specific procedure by which a person may file a post-dissolution modification case.

When preparing a request, the parent needs to include the full name and date of birth of the child, his or her full name and the other parent’s full name along with address and contact information. The requester should also include the case number or IV-D number along with the change in circumstances he or she believes necessitates the modification. Movants also need to be certain to print and sign their name and date the request prior to submitting it. The other parent will then be notified and can seek a hearing if they object.

People may seek a modification through either the Family Services Division or the court that issued the original child support order. It is important that people provide sufficient documentation to demonstrate that the requested modification is necessary. They may benefit by seeking the help of a family law attorney to make certain they file their request appropriately and are prepared to prove their case in a hearing. No information in this article should be construed as specific legal advice.

Source: The Missouri Bar, “Child Support Basics — The Administrative Process“, May 01, 2012