Regardless of whether you are the party paying or receiving child support, a time may come when you wish to modify your current arrangement for some reason or another. You may request a modification as the paying parent or the receiving parent, but whichever parent does so must be able to demonstrate that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred.

Just what types of situations might constitute this change in circumstances, and how might you move forward with requesting a modification?

Examples of significant circumstantial changes

You may be able to have your child support order modified if you or your child’s other parent lost income due to a layoff or other type of loss of employment. If one parent underwent incarceration, this may, too, warrant a child support modification.

If one parent has another child, or if the financial or other needs of the child the order pertains to change, these circumstances may also constitute cause for a child support order modification. Any changes in child custody arrangements may also constitute significant change, and so, too, might the emancipation of a child covered by an existing child support order.

Filing the motion

If you have experienced a significant change in circumstances and decide to move forward with filing a motion, you must do so at a Rhode Island Family Court. Keep in mind that any changes that may take effect would do so based on the date of your filing the motion, and not on the date when your change in circumstances first occurred.

If you or your child’s other parent did not experience a significant change in circumstances but would like your child support arrangement to undergo review anyway, you may file a motion requesting a review or adjustment. However, you must wait at least three years from when your order first took effect before doing so.