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Changes in Child Support Orders When Parents’ Lives Change

Divorce is complicated for both the divorcing spouses and the children. It is an emotionally trying time for everyone and impacts the adults’ finances and every other part of their lives.

For couples who have been married for extended periods, it can shake their sense of identity. Marriage is a union of two people who become a family with their unique lifestyles, routines and ways of doing things.

Child support

Child support can be one of the most complicated matters for divorcing couples to reach an agreement on. The amount a parent pays in child support is usually related to how much time they spend with the child, the parent’s financial situation, and what the child is accustomed to.

Changes in parents’ life circumstances

However, Virginia courts understand that life can be bumpy and circumstances change. People have financial highs and lows in their lives, they can change jobs, which can affect the income that a parent or both parents bring in, and the child’s needs can also change over time.

Modifications of child support orders

Both parents can request Virginia courts for a child support modification that reflects their circumstances change. For example, if a parent loses their job, they can file a motion to modify child support.

Likewise, suppose a parent is promoted, and their income increases significantly. In that case, the other parent can request that the court reevaluate the child support the other parent pays.

The court has the ultimate say in modifying child support orders. It can change orders if a parent’s circumstances change significantly.

This is important because parents frequently think that any change, no matter how small, can prevail in a request to the court to modify child support. However, that is not necessarily so. Knowing what the court deems a critical and material change warrants a possible modification is essential.

jack t randall

Written By Jack T. Randall


As lifelong resident of Western Tidewater, Jack Randall is a local attorney who wants the best results for his clients. He is an experienced and aggressive attorney with focus on family law, criminal and traffic law, as well as personal injury law cases.