I Need to Modify the Child Support I Pay – How Can I Do That?

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“I am a mother of a 4-year-old old and I am expecting another child in 6 weeks. I have had complications with this pregnancy and am currently under my doctor’s care, and I have a note from him that I have copied and showed to Child Support Enforcements.

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I had lost my job because of these complications,they needed someone to work when. they say like every job does well they fired me. My payments are supposed to be $175 a month when I lost my job My boyfriend has been helping me but since he is the only one working my payments have been low but they said at DCSE (child support enforcements) that as long as I pay something I should be okay not to mention I have arrears from my mom being on TANF so I owe the state. Me and my mom have Joint Custody of my first child. I have asked for a reducement to Child Support Enforcement they denied it. Then I wrote to a Hearing officer in Richmond and they said that is was No Appealable Issue so I need to know what to do I can’t seem to get my Child Support lawyer on the phone please write me back.”

Just because something is not appealable, does not mean it is non-modifiable. If there has been a change of circumstances then the same court that issued the support order can modify it.

It sounds like you are in Virginia, so here are some of the applicable Virginia code sections:

20-74. Support orders to remain in effect until annulled; modification. Any order of support or amendment thereof entered under the provisions of this chapter shall remain in full force and effect until annulled by the court of original jurisdiction, or the court to which an appeal may be taken; however, such order of support or terms of probation shall be subject to change or modification by the court from time to time, as circumstances may require, but no such change or modification shall affect or relieve the surety of his or her obligation under such recognizance, provided notice thereof be forthwith given to such surety. No support order may be retroactively modified, but may be modified with respect to any period during which there is a pending petition for modification in any court, but only from the date that notice of such petition has been given to the responding party.

and

20-108. Revision and alteration of such decrees. The court may, from time to time after decreeing as provided in S 20-107.2, on petition of either of the parents, or on its own motion or upon petition of any probation officer or the Department of Social Services, which petition shall set forth the reasons for the relief sought, revise and alter such decree concerning the care, custody, and maintenance of the children and make a new decree concerning the same, as the circumstances of the parents and the benefit of the children may require. The intentional withholding of visitation of a child from the other parent without just cause may constitute a material change of circumstances justifying a change of custody in the discretion of the court. No support order may be retroactively modified, but may be modified with respect to any period during which there is a pending petition for modification in any court, but only from the date that notice of such petition has been given to the responding party.

Your lost job or your new child may be a change of circumstances entitling you to a modification of support. Note well that there can be no retroactive modification prior to the filing of a petition to modify support, so the support amount is still the same and unpaid amounts are still accruing interest at the legal rate right now. I do not believe DCSE has a duty to file a modification for you as obligor, so if you want to get something done, it is on you.



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Author: House Attorney

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