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When should I ask for a child support modification?

Once you go to court and finalize your child support order in Missouri, you are not bound by this order forever. You always have the option to return to court for a modification. There are some limitations on requesting changes to your order. The Missouri Bar explains you may only request a modification if there is a substantial change or it has been three years since the original order.

Substantial change means that you or the child's other parent has at least a 20 percent change in income or if the child has a change in medical status or living situation. Anything that would greatly impact the amount of support you pay or receive is a substantial change.

If it has been three years since your order, you can request a modification without there needing to be a substantial change. You can just have your case reviewed for possible modification.

Generally, you will submit your modification request. The child support agency reviews it to see if there are a grounds for changing your child support order. You do have the right to request a hearing if you do not agree with the agency decision.

Do keep in mind the limitations on modification requests are in place to prevent an overload of the system. If everyone could request changes all the time for any reason, it would take a long time for cases to get through. As it stands now, it could take up to three months to get any actual change made in your case. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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