When Can Child Support Payments Be Adjusted?

Law Blog

Children are usually placed in the custody of one of the parents after a divorce. The other parent may then be required to provide child support to the custodial parent. Such non-custodial parents may expect to stop making payments when the child transitions into an adult. However, there are circumstances under which the child support order given by a family may be modified to extend or terminate the payments before that time. This article discusses some of those circumstances.


You may be expected to continue making child support payments even after your child reaches the age at which he or she is now considered an adult if that person is still in school. This is because that child may still be looked at as a dependent who still has expenses, such as tuition fees, that he or she cannot meet on his or her own.


Another reason that may be based upon to extend the period within which child support payments should be made is the health of the child. For instance, the child may develop a disability that makes him or her unable to support him or herself. In such a case, both parents may be expected to continue sharing the cost of looking after that child even after the child reaches the age at which he or she is considered an adult.

Changes in Your Finances

The child support order may also be modified in response to a change in your ability to meet the obligation imposed on you by the order. For instance, you may lose your job and have no source of income from which to make the child support payments. In such a case, the court may free you from the obligation to make those payments during the time when you have no job. Alternatively, you may develop a health complication, such as developing a chronic disease, which puts a strain on your finances or on your ability to earn an income. When that happens, the court may modify the child support order so that the court order is aligned with your current capacity to make those payments.

As you can see, child support orders can be modified after they have been issued by a family court. However, any modification has to be in line with the laws of your area. It is therefore advisable for you to contact a family lawyer for legal advice in case you feel that you have grounds to contest or request for a modification of a child support order that was given to you by a family court.


20 July 2016

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