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Can courts increase child support payments?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2023 | Family Law

Courts value the well-being of children and if there are reasons to believe that a change in the original support order is necessary, they are likely to allow it. However, there are still conditions to satisfy for the court to consider altering the decision.

A child support increase is possible

Under Rhode Island laws, the court shall review the child support order every three years upon request of either party or the state. However, it is possible to request a review even before the three-year period if a substantial change in circumstances occurs. The following changes may merit an increase in child support:

  • The custodial parent loses their source of income
  • The custodial parent gets a pay reduction
  • The custodial parent becomes ill and unable to work
  • The noncustodial parent receives a pay raise
  • The cost of the child’s necessities increases

These are the usual grounds for increasing the amount of child support. The requesting parent must present proof of these changes so the court can properly determine if the changes are indeed substantial and accordingly increase the amount. This is because not all changes are substantial. Foreseeable and temporary changes usually do not merit increased child support payments.

A parent’s obligation

Even if they have gone their separate ways, parents have an obligation to continuously support their children’s needs according to their capability. In every custody case, the judge’s primary consideration is the child’s best interest. They will ensure that the support payments adequately cover the children’s needs.