If circumstances have changed since an Order was entered, (i.e. one party is unable to comply with the terms of an Order), it may be necessary to change the agreement or order to better accommodate the changed circumstances.
Either party can file a petition to modify an Order, but to be successful, the petitioner must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances has occurred. The petitioner must show:
1. It has been at least three years since the child support order was entered (or modified); or
2. Either parent’s income has increased or decreased by at least 15% since the order was issued.
While modifications of child support may be difficult to achieve, the court is more likely to order a modification if the substantial change can be proven to have significantly impacted the effectiveness of the original order or arrangement.