Child support obligations represent a big portion of the supporting parent’s income. When circumstances change over time—like when a parent’s income decreases due to a change in their employment or life circumstances—it is inevitable to question whether there is a way to lower a child support obligation.
Child Support Orders Can be Modified
The North Carolina General Statutes, which govern child support issues in this state, establish that certain conditions must be met before a court can modify an existing child support order. Specifically, a child support order “may be modified or vacated at any time, upon motion in the cause and a showing of changed circumstances by either party or anyone interested”.
To obtain a modification, the person or party (like Child Support Services) seeking the modification must file a petition with the court, and then meet their burden to demonstrate the changed circumstances. The timing of the modification request is important, and generally goes as follows:
Notably, there is an exception when it comes to child support modifications. Vested child support from this state (or any other) that is past due is not subject to modification. This means that even with changed circumstances, the past-due support is still owed in full.