Neither you nor your ex-spouse will be obliged to stick to the original support order permanently. Circumstances that have an impact on finances – such as income or employment – can change. If they do, it may be necessary to revisit the original Child Support Order and amend it.
How does this work?
Either parent may ask a Court to modify a child support order. In order to obtain a modification in Indiana, at least 12 months must have passed since the last support order and the new support amount, based on current figures, must differ by at least 20%. If 12 months have not yet passed since the last support order, then there must be a substantial and continuing change in circumstances making the current support order unreasonable. A change in circumstances may include a change in the income of the parents, a change in childcare costs, a change in the number of annual overnights each parent is exercising, or a change in the expense of child rearing are factors specifically considered in the Indiana Child Support Guidelines.
The Guidelines allow for the new child support amount to be applied retroactively back to the date the request for modification was filed with the court. People often think the new support amount will be applied all the way back to the date the actual change in circumstances occurred, such as when they lost their job or added a child to their health insurance plan. It is important to realize this is not the case.
Only in extreme and rare circumstances will the court modify a support order back to a date earlier than when the request for modification was filed. This means if you are experiencing a change in circumstances, and believe your current support order is no longer reasonable, it is vital to act as soon as possible and file your modification request with the court. Roman-Lagunas & Wheeler can help review your circumstances and, where appropriate, make sure that prompt filing of a request for modification takes place.