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How often is a child support order reviewed in Rhode Island?

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2022 | Family Law

When Rhode Island couples part ways and there are children from the relationship, one of the most important parts of the case is the child support order. The objective is to serve the child’s best interests and ensure they are cared for in every way. However, with the passage of time, the initial child support order and its amount might no longer be sufficient.

People who want the order changed can ask the court for a modification. This is not just viewed from the perspective of the parent who is receiving payments. The paying parent can also ask for it to be modified. Understanding the law and how it is applied is imperative.

When can the child support order be reviewed and changed?

After a child support order is put into effect or changed, either side can request that it be reviewed every three years. If it finds that the circumstances warrant a modification, it can alter the amount by using the child support guidelines. People can also ask for a review before three years have passed. The court is at its discretion in modifying the order.

It will analyze the case and make its decision. The situation must be different from what it was at the time of the previous amount. For example, if the receiving party got a better job or lost their job, the amount can be adjusted accordingly. The same is true if the child’s needs change with medical expenses, schooling, extracurricular activities and more. If the request is made after three years have elapsed and the guidelines justify it, there is no need to show proof of changed circumstances.

Modifying child support can be done, but legal assistance is key

Since every family law case is different, the courts will look at the parents, the child and the child’s needs before deciding on the amount. In some cases, the parents are agreeable on the subject, thinking first about the child’s well-being, and are willing to make the change. They can even negotiate it on their own. In others, it is contentious and the court must intervene.

The fundamental requirements are important, but how much the parents earn and the child needs are paramount. These issues commonly lead to dispute. With that, parents must remember the value of legal guidance. This can be beneficial to reaching a fair outcome while simultaneously protecting the child and making sure their needs are met.