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Modifying child support orders in West Virginia

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2021 | Family Law

Parents in West Virginia who have gotten a divorce might need to petition the court later on for a modification of their child support order. While it is the right of a parent to petition for a change, there are rules in place about when and why a parent can do so.

When can you ask to modify a child custody order?

Parents have the right to petition the court to review the existing child support order if three years have passed since the order was issued. However, if the circumstances that were considered when the original order was issued have changed in a significant manner, such as the paying parent losing their job or the child needing costly medical care or another form of care, either parent can petition before the three years are complete.

What will the court consider when reviewing a child support order?

Child support modifications can be sought for a variety of reasons. The paying parent might find themselves unable to pay the full amount or at all and want to seek a change. The receiving parent, in the same way, might feel that they need additional support from the paying parent to cover increased medical or care costs for the child. Once the petition for a child support modification is made to the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement or county clerk where the existing order was issued, the court will review the order. To decide, the court will consider several factors, including:

  • Each parent’s income
  • The children’s ages and needs
  • The costs of child care incurred for the children to allow parents to work
  • The costs of health insurance for the children
  • Any other factors deemed relevant by the court

Once the court reviews the case and all factors, the parents receive a decision. The court can award lower or higher payments. It can also order payments to remain the same.