4 Ways to Change a Child Support Order in North Carolina

Written by Jonathan Breeden

Paying child support is a common and often difficult topic for many co-parents. But it is important to remember that a North Carolina court or Child Support Services (CSS) is not going to change a child support order just because you feel it is too much or not enough.

Whether you request a CSS review or return to court for a modification, you will need to show why adjusting the child support amount is appropriate and in the child’s best interests. If you want the amount to decrease or increase, you need a strong argument and supporting documentation.

The best wat to secure a child support modification is to work with an experienced North Carolina child support lawyer. An attorney can help determine the likelihood of getting your child support order changed and what evidence you should present.

At Breeden Law Office, we have helped countless mothers and fathers in Johnston, Angier, and Harnett counties ask for more appropriate child support amounts.

Call us at (919) 661-4970 today or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

What to do if You Disagree With a Child Support Order

If you disagree with how much child support you have to pay or receive, there are several steps you can take to have it reviewed and possibly modified. However, your options depend on how child support was determined and how long the order has been in place.

Your options include:

1. Request a Review Every 3 Years

If it has been more than three years since your child support order was entered or changed, you have the automatic right to request a review. The Court will evaluate both parents’ income to determine if the child support should stay the same, increase, or decrease.

2. There’s Been a Change in Circumstances

You do not have to wait three full years to request a Court review if there has been a change in circumstances. Significant changes that may lead to an adjustment include: a change in the child’s needs; a significant involuntary decrease in your income); a voluntary decrease in your income and the child’s needs; a change in child custody; termination of your duty to pay child support for one or more children within the support order. If the new amount of child support owed results in a more than 15% change, the Court can modify the order within three years.

3. Contest the CSS review

If CSS handles your child support, but there’s no Court order, then you have 30 days to request that the case be reviewed by a Judge. This can allow you to provide additional evidence regarding a change in circumstances, your child’s needs, or your and the other parent’s actual income.

CSS is an agency and works with parents and other parties with custody of a child. They help those parents obtain and modify support. But, CSS does not help parents who do not have custody and are paying support.

4. Contest the Child Support in Court

CSS does not make every child support determination. If your child support order stemmed from a divorce or custody action and CSS was not involved, you may need to return to court to change the order. If you want the child support to be a different amount than what’s required by the state, your attorney must file a motion to deviate from the guidelines and present evidence as to why this is appropriate.>

Why Work with a Child Support Lawyer

It is not unusual for parents to disagree when it comes to child support. As the recipient, you may feel that the amount is not enough for you and your child. If you are paying, you may feel that you are giving more than you can afford.

At Breeden Law Office, North Carolina child support lawyer Jonathan Breeden understands support amounts should be adjusted occasionally, based on the child’s evolving needs and the parent’s incomes. Let us review your order, your circumstances, and help seek a modification when appropriate.

For help modifying your child support order, call Breeden Law Office at (919) 661-4970 or contact us online. We are available in Garner, Angier, and Smithfield for your convenience.


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