Modifying and Terminating the Support Provisions

To modify or end support get the facts, it is most often necessary to demonstrate that there have been substantial changes in circumstances. The burden of proof falls on the person seeking modification.

The clauses that permit modification of support for children and maintenance upon a showing of substantial change in circumstances were subject to different interpretations. The most common understanding is that a substantial change must occur between when a dissolution of marriage judgement, Guest Posting or prior support order was entered and the time the petition for modification was filed. In order to receive an increase, the case law states that the change must be bi-lateral: the increase must include both an increased need of either the spouse receiving support or the child who is the beneficiary of children’s maintenance, as well as an increased income from the spouse paying the support.

If the petitioner shows that the circumstances have changed substantially, the court may modify the maintenance award using the factors used to determine the original award.

This includes: the financial assets of the spouse who seeks support, including marital property divided; the standard established during the marriage and its duration; the age of each spouse and their physical and emotional condition; her ability to meet her own needs; and his ability to pay.

In a similar way, the determination of a modification to child support follows the same process as an initial award. Among the factors to consider are:

(1) the child’s financial resource;

(2) The financial and other needs of the parent who is the custodial child;

(3) the standard living of the child if the divorce had not occurred;

(4) the physical condition and emotional needs of the child;

(5) the resources and financial needs of either the noncustodial or other parents.

After considering the factors mentioned above, a court may reject the petition for modification or increase, extend, reduce, or end the support, maintenance.