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If you are paying or receiving child support under a court order, as circumstances change you may need to have the order updated.

Child support is based on the income of the paying parent, and is set according to the Tables under the Child Support Guidelines. Every year, the payor of support and the recipient should be exchanging their income tax returns and notices of assessment. If there is a material change in circumstances (defined as something which, if it were known at the time that the order was made, would have resulted in a different result) then generally a change in the child support order will be justified. The change in the order can be a result of a change in income, or also something like a child moving in with the other parent or ceasing to be eligible for child support.

If there are no issues about the truthfulness or appropriateness of the income as shown on the parties Income Tax Returns, then it is a fairly simple calculation to determine the new Table amount of support which should be paid. If there are issues about the opposing party not declaring the appropriate income on their tax returns or being underemployed or intentionally unemployed, then you will need to bring these issues to the attention of your lawyer.

Obtaining a new court order is done through a Motion to Change, which is a court proceeding that varies a previous court order. If the parties agree on the amount of child support to be paid and the new proportionate contribution to the children’s special and extraordinary expenses, then they can do a Consent Motion to Change. Both parties sign the Consent Motion to Change, requesting that the court make a new order. If the parties do not agree on the new amount of support to be paid, one party can start a Motion to Change, in which they will ask the court to make a new order based upon the evidence.

If the Family Responsibility Office is involved in enforcing the support order, they will need a new court order or a formal statement from the recipient that a child is no longer eligible for support in order to change the enforcement of the support order.