Many Ohio parents do not really understand the modification process for child support. They may think that the court will automatically change the support when one parent’s income increases or decreases. However, much more is required for the court to order a modification.

The standard in a child support modification is that there must be a significant change in income. Each state has its own definition of what is considered significant. What is rules out is the fact that a regular small annual raise can be grounds on its own for a modification. In some states, the standard is a 25% increase or decrease in income. It is vital to know the rules as parents’ income may be changing during times of economic uncertainty.

Parents are limited in how often they can ask for a modification. The standard is usually every two of three years. If a parent wastes their chance to ask for a modification when the situation does not call for it, they may have to wait another two or three years before they can request one.

In order to begin the modification process, a parent will need to approach the Office of Child Support Enforcement. At some point, the increased or decreased support will need to become part of a court order. Modifications can often become contentious between the two parents.

One should consult a child support attorney to learn more about how modifications work in Ohio. The lawyer could dispel any misconceptions about the process that their client has. There are often high stakes in modification cases because a change in child support will have real impacts on both parents’ financial situations. Thus, it may be valuable to have an attorney available to help as the request makes its way through the legal system.