How can you change your child support order amount?
There are plenty of reasons why you may want to change the amount of child support you owe each month, ranging from temporary unemployment to income reduction to job loss. However, while your reasons may be valid, the state of Ohio does not grant child support modifications to just anyone who requests it.
According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the state will only consider adjusting your case after performing an administrative review. You must submit form JFS 01849 along with supporting documents to the child support enforcement agency, who will then determine if your case is even eligible for a review.
Criteria for getting an administrative review
In most cases, the CSEA will only grant an administrative review for the modification of support orders if the existing order has been in place for more than 36 months. If it has been less than 36 months, you will need to provide supporting documents that show good cause for wanting to modify the order. “Good cause” is any reasoning that form JFS 01849 lists as a “specific change of circumstance.” Job loss may qualify as a “change in circumstances” in some cases, but it does not always.
If you wish to receive a modification to your child support order, be prepared to present documents that support your reasons for requesting an administrative review. The types of documents you will need vary depending on your reason for wanting to change your order. However, the CSEA generally asks that you include proof of public assistance or unemployment compensation benefits, documents from your current or previous employer, or a notarized personal statement along with your request. Note that if the CSEA requires evidence from you, and if you do not provide that evidence, it will likely deny your request.
In addition to supporting documents, you may also need to provide evidence of your income, health insurance information and other information that may be relevant to your order. A CSEA representative should point you in the right direction.