If a child support order was part of your divorce, a judge may have taken many factors into account when settling on payment amounts. In addition to your income and your spouse’s income, the court likely considered your children’s specific needs and how you share parenting responsibilities.
However, these factors are likely to change as your children grow older. As in other states, in Delaware, you may be able to modify support amounts if your personal circumstances have changed significantly.
1. When is modification possible?
In general, Delaware family courts are willing to review petitions for support modification if a certain period of time has passed or if you, your ex-spouse or your children have experienced a substantial change in financial resources or needs.
2. What are examples of reasons to request modification?
Reasons that the court may consider valid when changing support amounts include:
- Either you or your spouse experienced a major decrease or increase in pay
- You have decided to change your current physical custody arrangements
- Your children have new educational, medical or other specialized care needs
- There has been a change in the cost or access to health insurance coverage
3. Which parent can request modification?
Either you or your former spouse may ask the court to review your current support order. If you both agree to the modification, you may also be able to submit a new agreed amount for court approval.
If you and your ex-spouse are on relatively good terms, you may find it tempting to come to a casual agreement about changing support. However, without court approval, such a change may lead to legal and monetary complications later, especially if your relationship deteriorates down the road.