Hello, how are you doing? My name is Attorney Chad L. Simpson, and I’m one of the associate attorneys for Holcomb Law. One of the most commonly asked questions that we have here at the firm is when can you modify child support. In petition the court to modify child support, the moving party, which is the party that is requesting that child support be modified, has the burden of proving with sufficient evidence that there has been a material change of circumstances since the last order. If the person that petitions the court for modification of child support fails to meet that burden, the petition for a modification will be dismissed, and there will be no modification of child support. While there is no exhaustive list that one can go to, to find out what would be a material change of circumstances, it is ultimately up to the discretion of the judge.
Some examples of a material change of circumstances, however, would be a change in daycare costs. Generally, when you put a child support order in place, there are daycare costs. If those daycare costs change, such as when the children go to school, then that would be a reason to file a motion to modify child support. Another reason to put in a modification of child support would be if there was a significant difference in the parties’ incomes. Another example would be if there’s a difference in the custody arrangement of the parties. A lot of times, we have a situation where one party has primary custody and sometimes the other party has visitation. If that party was to have visitation where he had the child more than 90 days, then he would file a petition with the court to request that there be a modification to child support based on not primary custody of the child, but on a shared custody arrangement with the child.
As I indicated, while there’s not an exhaustive list where one could go to for material change of circumstances, that it is clear in Virginia, that if you going to request a modification of child support, there must be a material change from that last order. If you have any questions about a modification of child support, please feel free to call our firm, and one of our attorneys would be able to assist you in a modification of child support. Thank you.