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Q: I have a child support order which was put into place in 2017 and I’ve never had the child support modified, but we had a modification in 2021 for the child care (day care, after care, camp) portion of it (not the amount, just how it is to be paid) Magistrate says that is still considered a modification. Actual child support has NEVER been modified. Cost of living has gone up since 2017 and never even received a COLA adjustment. Non custodial parents income has increased over 15% since order was put in place. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
A: The statute (FCA 451(3)(b)) simply states child support is modifiable – among other reasons – once every 3 years from when the order was “entered, last modified or adjusted.” Implicitly, this means any aspect of the order. This doesn’t mean the order from 2021 cannot be adjusted in 2023, however. The statute goes on to state that child support may be modified if the noncustodial parent’s income has gone up by 15% of more. If you suspect it has, then you can retain counsel & have him/her send a subpoena to the noncustodial parent’s job (if s/he doesn’t voluntarily produce their income info) to obtain their W-2. If the income went up by 15% or more since 2017, then you have yourself a valid case for modification.