Modification of a Child Support Obligation

Parties (both parents and the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA)) may request that a child support order be modified every three years without having to show a change in circumstances by making their request to the CSEA in writing. The CSEA then reviews the current order and, if appropriate, begins administrative proceedings to modify it. 

Parties may also request that a child support order be modified at any time if there has been a substantial and material change in circumstances since the date of the entry of the current order. They should submit their request to the CSEA in writing and set forth the reasons for the request, including describing the substantial and material change in circumstances. The CSEA then begins administrative proceedings to modify it.

CSEA serves both parents with a proposed administrative order for modification of the child support amount.

Each parent then has an opportunity to request a hearing to contest the proposed order.  If a parent requests a hearing within the time period allowed, a hearing is scheduled and conducted.
Issues that may be addressed at a modification hearing include:

    • how circumstances have changed since the current order was issued
    • actual income or income earning ability of the parents
    • verified cost of the child(ren)’s medical insurance premiums paid by either parent (over and above the premium cost for the parent)
    • verified child care expenses paid to allow a parent to work
    • any other issue a parent believes is relevant to the modification of the child support obligation

The Hearing Officer will determine whether evidence presented at the hearing is relevant to the proceeding.

To prepare for a hearing parties should read thoroughly all documents they receive from the CSEA and the OCSH.  These documents will explain the action the CSEA is proposing and what laws and/or regulations govern it.

See also the Preparing for Your Hearing section of this web site regarding documents parties may want to present at the administrative hearing.