Parents are expected to provide financial support for their children. For some parents, this is handled through child support. Dealing with child support orders isn’t always easy, but it is something that is necessary.

There are times when a current child support order just isn’t working any longer. In this case, either parent can request a modification of the order. You can’t do this just because you feel like it. Instead, there is a list of very specific reasons why you might file for a modification.

One reason is that there has been three or more years since the initial child support order or most recent modification. Another is if there is a change in the time a parent has the child in his or her custody or if the child is emancipated.

Instances of incarceration, whether it is a parent being incarcerated or being released, can result in a modification. The loss of a job or a significant change in income can also be a valid reason. One parent being classified as disabled might also lead to a modification petition.

Some modifications are due to changes with the medical insurance for the child. These vary depending on the circumstances, so you need to look into the individual case to determine what you might need to do.

Finally, changes in the child’s expenses might lead to a modification. These expenses are the ones that are considered necessary, such as uninsured medical costs or day care fees.

Even when a modification petition is made, the interests of the child must be considered. These orders can take up to six months to complete, so be prepared for this wait as modifications might not be an immediate answer to a child support issue.

Source: Arizona Department of Economic Security, “Modifying Your Existing Child Support Order FAQ,” accessed Dec. 28, 2017