Friend of the Court Questions and Answers (continued)

What do I do if I have been ordered to pay child support and I lose my job or earn less money?

The law requires you to inform the Friend of the Court in writing that your income (earned or unearned) has changed. You will remain responsible for paying the old support amount until the court decides to change that amount.

When the court orders an increase or decrease in my child support order, is it permanent?

No, either parent may ask the court to change the support amount any time there is a significant change in circumstances; for example, you marry the other parent, the child no longer lives with you, you become disabled, or you have a significant increase or decrease in income. The support amount will remain the same until the court orders a different amount.

What can I do if I disagree with the amount of support recommended by the Friend of the Court?

If you disagree with the amount the court recommends, you should follow the instructions you receive from the court concerning a hearing. At a support hearing, you can tell the court what you think support should be and provide information to the court to justify your reasons. The court will determine the child support amount based upon the best interests of the child(ren).

If both parents agree to a change in the support order, do we have to go to court?

Some court offices will help parents prepare an agreement to have the court enter a new order. After both parents sign the agreement, it is presented to the court for its approval. If the court does not help parents prepare their own agreements, one parent will have to ask the court for a change in the support order.

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