If a child support order was part of your divorce decree, a judge likely examined many factors when determining an amount. In addition to your earnings and your spouse’s earnings, the court may have considered the ages of your children and their specific care needs.
However, as your children grow and your lives change, you may find that your original child support order no longer fits your financial reality. In Arkansas, you may be able to change support amounts by asking the Office of Child Support Enforcement to review your case.
When can a parent request a review?
You may request an OCSE review every three years. During a review, the agency checks current payment amounts against state child support guidelines. Once the assessment is complete, the amount you pay or receive in support may go up, go down or remain the same.
You may not have to wait three years to request a support review if you, your children or your ex-spouse have experienced significant financial changes. Examples of major changes that may justify child support modification include:
- An involuntary job loss
- A major pay raise or pay cut
- A change in health care coverage and costs
- An increase or decrease in work-related childcare expenses
- Changes in a child’s educational, medical or other care needs
Which parent can request a review?
Either ex-spouse can ask the OSCE to assess a child support order. If you are the paying parent, you may request a review if you can no longer afford to meet your current obligations. If you receive support, you may ask for an assessment if current payments are no longer enough to provide for all your children’s needs.