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How can someone modify a child support order?

In Colorado, child support orders can be changed by filing a request with the local child support enforcement office or by filing a motion to modify child support in court. Until and unless a requested change is approved and the order modified, payments under the existing order are required to continue.

When people have child support cases first opened through the applicable agency, the amount of child support owed is determined by the state’s child support guidelines according to the relative income of the parties. For TANF cases, the office automatically reviews the support order every three years. In non-TANF cases, a review can be requested by either party at any time when their has been a substantial change in circumstances.

People are also able to seek a change in ordered support through filing a motion to modify child support with the appropriate court in their jurisdiction if the child support was initially ordered as a part of a dissolution or custody proceeding. Additionally, if people had a previous order through Child Support Enforcement but not through the court, they can file a motion with the court at any time regarding their child support and custody in order to seek changes.

Judges may grant a modification of child support in situations in which the parent who is ordered to pay has a significant decrease in income due to loss of employment or unforeseen medical expenses. Other situations in which child support may be modified include a change in the child custody arrangement. A family law attorney can provide further guidance to a client who is seeking such a modification.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “How are child support orders generally changed?”, October 23, 2014

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