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How often can a child support order be modified?

Child support orders are determined based on the numbers and facts at hand at the time of the divorce. However, just like with any other situation in life, these change as time passes. It's fairly common for child support orders to be adjusted a couple of times over the course of the order, depending on the age of the children, but it's important to understand the guidelines for these changes.

According to the Colorado Revised Statue ยง14-10-122, a child support order can be modified as often as necessary. This does not mean, however, that every time your ex gets a raise or changes jobs that it's a good idea to have the child support reevaluated. Every time the courts or the child support agency gets involved in your case, it can lead to increased strain between you and your ex, which may spill over into communications and custody exchanges.

It's also important to understand that the "as necessary" is a key part of the statute. In order for a change to be made to the actual court order, the new circumstances must result in a change of at least 10 percent, upward or downward, in the child support amount.

Many child support order modifications can be done directly through the child support enforcement agency without needing an attorney. However, it's common for one or both parties to be unhappy with the outcome of the modification request, which can lead to the case being appealed before the family courts. It's always best to discuss all of the possible scenarios with your attorney before proceeding with any modification requests to ensure you are prepared for all possible outcomes.

Source: Colorado Department of Human Services, "Review and Adjustment of Child Support," accessed Nov. 06, 2015

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