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Can child support orders be changed?

The general rule regarding child support in Mississippi puts the child at the center of things. This should not be a surprise. The guiding principle in all of the United States when it comes to such issues is the best interests of the child.

The model that tends to be most typical is one in which the child lives mainly with one parent -- designated as the custodial parent. The other parent is often in the position of having to pay child support as established by guidelines used by the state.

However, there are cases in which guidelines have been violated or misapplied. There's also the reality that lives are not static. Changes of circumstance can and do occur. Parents can lose jobs or get major promotions. The needs of the child might change as well. When the changes are significant, modifications can be sought, but they must be done through the legal system.

And what constitutes a significant change? That can depend on the circumstances, but in general, state code requires that adjusted gross income of either of the parents needs to be shown to have changed by at least 25 percent. But, as noted above, if the case can be made that changes in the needs of the child call for an increase in support, a modification can be sought.

It's important to keep in mind that any change request needs to be made to the same court that set the original support order. Even if you and the other parent agree on what should happen, it still needs the court's OK. And seeking an attorney's help is always advisable.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Support Modification FAQ," accessed Oct. 23, 2015

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