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Situations when a parent should seek a child support modification

Even though a divorce decree can seem final, there are times when a former spouse can seek modifications in the terms of their divorce. Perhaps the parent wants to modify the child custody agreement. Or if they are the non-custodial parent, they may need to request a change in their child support payments. However, seeking a change in their child support payments may only occur during certain specific situations. Here are a few situations that may require a child support modification.

A primary reason for seeking a change in child support payments is if the non-custodial parent has seen a significant decrease in their income. During tough economic times, it's not unusual for someone to lose their primary source of income. This loss means that the non-custodial parent may not be able to make their child support payments. In situations like this, the non-custodial parent should go to court and seek a modification in their child support.

A situation where a custodial parent can seek an increase in child support is if their child has seen an increase in their responsibilities. Children's needs do not stay the same and as they get older they may decide to join school clubs or athletic teams or other types of activities which can involve significant costs. If this happens, the custodial parent may need additional support from the non-custodial parent and seek a modification to the amount of child support.

A modification can also be sought if one of the parents is the beneficiary of a significant inheritance. However, any Virginia resident who is receiving or paying child support may want to speak to a child support attorney in order to learn about additional situations that can justify a change in child support.

Source:, "When to request a child support modification in court", Accessed May 22. 2106

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