If you are struggling to make ends meet in Maryland with your current child support agreement, you’re probably considering asking for a modification. Conversely, if you are the person making the support payments, you may want to petition for a change if you have a job loss. Before you do so, make sure that you or your former spouse understand the process for asking for changes in the support agreement.
When to request child support modification
Most of the time, a family court will only consider a child support modification will only consider a change to an agreement when there is a significant change in the payor’s income or the child’s need. Parents who owe child support may consider a reduction in their payments if they suffer a job loss or a significant decrease in salary.
When receiving support payments, you may be eligible to request a modification and receive more if educational costs or medical expenses have increased considerably.
Note that the state of Maryland has specific rules for requesting a change in child support payments. The courts advise that you petition for child support modification in writing. You also have the right to ask the court to review your agreement once every three years.
Filing for a change request
Changes of income of at least 25% are usually enough to request a change in a child support order for either parent. You should avoid making verbal agreements, as these are often vague and unreliable.
Most change orders must be filed in the same court where the original order was issued. Work with your attorney to determine the best process for requesting a change in your child support order and ensuring that you have sufficient evidence for your request.