Child Support Orders which are at least two years old are eligible for a cost of living adjustment (COLA) based upon the annual average changes in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U) as published by the United States Department of Labor. COLA reviews are conducted by the SCU automatically through CSMS for all eligible Public Assistance cases, and for non-public assistance cases upon the request of one of the parties. When a COLA is warranted (if there is a cumulative CPI-U increase of 10% or more), the SCU issues the adjusted order to the parties and provides a copy to the court.

After a while, the amount of child support ordered by the court may no longer meet the needs of your child and the non-custodial parent’s income may have increased. If your situation changes, the OCSE program can file a modification petition with the court to ask for more support.

Reasons for filing a modification include:

  • An increase in the non-custodial parent's income 
  • A decrease in the custodial parent's income
  • An increase in the needs of the child due to special circumstances or the additional activities of a growing child
  • An increase in the cost of living as it pertains to the child
  • Changes between the current and former lifestyles of the child
  • Health insurance that was not included in the original order is now available to the non-custodial parent

If you wish to file a modification petition, you should be prepared to present documentation that will substantiate your reason for filing the petition. A hearing will be held and the court will decide whether or not the amount of your support order should be changed.