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Reviewing Child Support Obligations

When Reviews are Done:

A review might be done when:
  • The last review was less than three years ago, but there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Substantial changes include but are not limited to job loss, changes in the child's placement, or incarceration.
  • A parent hires an attorney to ask the court for a review.
  • A parent asks the court for a review using a "do it yourself" or pro se approach by filing a motion to change child support with the courts.
  • A review will not be done when:
  • A parent has no legal duty to provide current support. For example, all children are emancipated, or the paying parent's parental rights were ended.
  • "Good Cause" has been found or is pending for a parent who gets W-2 services or cash benefits, unless the parent with Good Cause requests the review.
  • The order is from another state, and that other state has control over the order.
  • The whereabouts of a parent are unknown.
  • The paying parent has voluntarily reduced his or her income.
  • The paying parent is in jail because of a crime against a child, a crime against the other parent, or for failing to pay child support.

Who Reviews the Order

If you are receiving cash benefits, your order will automatically be reviewed every three years by your child support agency.

If you have applied for child support services or if you were referred to child support through a public aid/benefit program, you can request a review every three years or after a substantial change in circumstances.

Every three years notices are mailed to both parents indicating their right for a review

Parents are interested in a review should submit a request in writing to their child support agency

Some agencies will review the order themselves, and others will provide help to parents on how to use the pro se process to ask for a review of the support order.

All families paying and receiving support get financial services. If you have not applied for child support services or have not been referred by a public aid or benefit program, you are receiving only financial services. If this is the case, a review can only be done by a pro se motion or by hiring a private attorney.