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Why might a child support order be modified?

When parents in a Virginia divorce, the court will issue a child support order. This order may serve both parents well for a while, but life is ever-changing. Certain life events, such as a job promotion, a job loss, a change in custody arrangements or other types of changes could make it so that one of the child's parents believes that their current child support order is no longer appropriate, and needs to be modified.

In Virginia, either parent can request that the court review their child support order. This review will take into account each parent's current income, as well as Virginia's guidelines for child support. At the end of the review, the court may either raise the amount of child support owed, lower the amount of child support owed or make no changes to the child support order being reviewed.

There are several reasons why a child support order may be modified. One is if it has been 36 months or more since the child support order was last reviewed. Another is if another child needs to be included in the order, due to a birth or an alteration in the parents' child custody arrangements. A third reason is if there has been a change in custody that makes it so that the child is no longer owed child support.

A child support order may also be modified in instances in which expenses related to health care coverage need to be considered. Similarly, if the premiums for health care coverage went up or went down by 25 percent or more, this may also warrant a modification. Also, if the custodial parent is working and his or her child care costs either went up or went down by 25 percent or more, this may be a reason to modify a child support order. Finally, a child support order may be modified if either parent's income went up or went down by 25 percent or more.

These are only some reasons why a child support modification may be sought. Of course, this post cannot guarantee a modification will be granted in any one parent's personal situation. Parents who want to pursue a modification of their child support order should take all the steps necessary to understand their options, so they can make informed decisions regarding child custody and support.

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