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Can a child support order ever be adjusted?

You went through a divorce either recently or some time ago, and included in your settlement was a child support order. Some people are unhappy with the initial order, while others find the terms work for a while, but eventually, they do not. If you find yourself in either of these positions, you are likely wondering if there is any way the order of support can be adjusted.

The good news is, according to Alaska family laws, yes, modification is possible. There are three ways you may go about accomplishing this.

Option number one: Appeal

If you were recently divorced, and you feel the amount awarded in the order of support was either too much or too little, you may file an appeal with the Alaska Supreme Court. You will not have the opportunity to offer any evidence to support your position. The court will simply review the final judgment and decide if the order should stand. If you wish to appeal, you only have 15 to 30 days from the issuing of the order to do so.

Option number two: Private negotiations

You and your ex may try to negotiate a support modification on your own or with a little legal assistance. If you reach an agreement on the change, you do still need to file a Motion to Modify in court, but it really is just a formality. You do not need to pay to file the motion, and the judge reviewing your case will likely approve the adjustment without issue.

Option number three: File an official Motion to Modify

If you are beyond the point where you can appeal and working out a new agreement with your ex either fails or is not an option, you may file an official Motion to Modify. The granting of a request to adjust an order of support will only happen if you can prove that a change of circumstances occurred warranting the modification — such as:

  • Income change
  • Loss of employment
  • Incarceration
  • Custody adjustment
  • Change in child’s needs

The overall point is, the court is not going to alter an existing support order unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

You are not alone

Achieving an order of support that truly fits your family’s needs can prove challenging. Thankfully, you do not have to figure it out on your own. With a little help, you may find success in having your order adjusted by utilizing one of these options.