Petition to Modify Child Support

You may be able to modify a Maryland child support order if there has been a “material change in circumstances,” such as losing a job, suffering a disability or being sent to jail.  The change must be material, meaning significant – generally, a change of about 25% in income of a parent, up or down, is sufficient.  The material change in circumstances must have occurred after the current child support amount was set.   

If you believe that there has been a material change in circumstances and you would like to change child support, it is important to file to change the child support as soon as possible - a court can change the child support obligation only as of the date of the filing.  So if you lose your great job in 2015, but don’t file until 2016, when the court decides the case in 2017, your 2015 child support payments can’t be lowered, but your 2016 can be.  

Even if there has been a material change in circumstances, you may want to run a child support calculation using a tool such as the tool available here to see if the actual payments will change enough for it to make sense to pursue.  

If you do wish to file to modify child support in Maryland, you can use Form Dom Rel 6, available here.  The instructions provided by the Maryland Courts for filling out that form are available here.   

If you would like to modify child support but aren’t able to complete the forms yourself, or would like to speak with an attorney about whether you should seek to modify child support, Civil Justice’s Limited Scope Project may be a good fit for you.  When an attorney agrees to provide you with limited scope representation, it means that the attorney will do certain things for you, but will not take on all of the responsibility for your case.  Civil Justice has a group of private Maryland attorneys who can provide limited scope assistance with modifying child support by helping to draft the petition, which gets the process started and sets you off on the right track, without needing to charge you for representing you all the way through litigation.  The cost for preparing a petition to modify child support is generally between $200.00 and $400.00.  If you are interested in this service, please fill out our online intake form here, or call us at 410 706-0174.   

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