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Requesting a modification of a child support order

After being ordered to pay child support in a divorce settlement, parents in Ohio may wish to have their payments reduced if they lose a job or go through another major life change. Although child support orders can be modified, orders can usually only be reviewed once every 36 months. However, circumstances like unemployment, incarceration or active military duty could allow for an early review.

Parents who wish to have a child support order modified can request a review by the Child Support Enforcement Agency or petition the court for a modification. Either way, a parent who pursues a modification to their child support order is always taking a risk that the order could be increased. Before a new order is issued, the current financial situation of both parents will be assessed to determine whether the child support order should remain the same, increase or decrease.

The CSEA is not obligated to conduct a review of a child support order every time it is requested. If the CSEA finds that an order is eligible to be reviewed, both parents will be contacted within 15 days of the request. Both parties will be given 45 days to submit information for the CSEA to review. The CSEA will then make a decision about modifying the child support order based on the information submitted. If one of the parties disagrees with the CSEA's decision, they can request an administrative hearing.

When two parents disagree on how a child support order should be modified after a divorce, the process of having an order reviewed may become complicated. A parent who is going through this kind of situation might want to consult with an attorney to assist during legal proceedings.

Source: Ohio State Bar Association , "Child Support Orders Can Be Modified", December 17, 2014

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