Modification of Child Supportby Ponichtera & DeNardis, P.C. on 06/21/10
One important rule of thumb to remember is there is no retroactive modification of child support. What does this mean? It means in short, that a judge can only change a child support order, which is presently in effect, back to the date that service of a complaint for modification was made upon the other parent. A Complaint for Modification is the procedure in which a parent requests a change in child support from the Court by claiming or alleging a material and substantial change of circumstances has occurred. Typically, the other parent must be given a copy of this document by a sheriff or constable, which process is known as service.
A Court can only go back to the date of service, in modifying a Court order for child support. Circumstances that may constitute a material and substantial change of circumstances requiring a change in child support may be, for example: the loss of a job, a major increase or decrease in pay, unemployment due to major illness or injury, the emancipation of a child, or a change in custody of a child from one parent to another. It is important to get to Court as quickly as possible after the changing event occurs to assure that the right amount of child support is established, because there is no going back to the date the event occurred, if there was no complaint for modification served upon the other parent at the time. If a major change in circumstances has occurred to you, then be sure to contact a skilled attorney as soon as possible to file a Complaint for Modification to assure that your rights are protected.