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What Is the Process of Modifying a Court Order for Child Support or Child Custody?

What Is the Process of Modifying a Court Order for Child Support or Child Custody?Child custody and child support cases are often quite complicated. Modifying an established court order for child support or custody will require various documents and evidence. A family law attorney will be able to help you navigate this modification process and ensure all steps are completed.

Modifying a child support order

A child support order can be modified after three years or if there is a change in circumstances. These circumstances include changes in the health of a parent, or changes in a parent’s employment and salary. A substantial change in circumstance is a difference of 15% or more of the child support paid under the existing order and the amount of child support resulting from the application of the guidelines based on the parents’ current income and circumstances.

If you have a Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSE) caseworker, you may contact them to start the modification process. Other circumstances warranting a modification include when a parent remarries, or when a child’s healthcare needs change. In all cases, the plaintiff must be prepared to prove that the circumstances require a change in support. A family law attorney would be able to guide you in these matters. Below is an outline of what needs to be done.

Steps to modify a child support order in North Carolina

  1. Complete and file a Motion and Notice of Hearing for Modification of Child Support Order
    1. This form will include information on the current child support order and information outlining the reason for the modification.
    2. A Notary Public must be present when this is signed.
    3. It is $20 to file the Notice of Hearing.
  2. The judge will schedule a hearing.
  3. Prepare documents to justify your request for modification.
  4. Present the evidence to support your request to modify Child Support

If a modification for Child Support is needed because you have lost your job and cannot pay, you may file a Motion to Modify. This motion will be reviewed by a judge who will determine how this impacts the current order. If you learn you are not the biological father of the child you have been ordered to support, you can file a Motion for Relief within one year of learning you are not the father.

You can find additional information regarding the modification of a child support order here.

Modifying a child custody order

Modifying a child custody order also requires proof of a material change in circumstances. Changing jobs, relocation, overseas deployment, and health concerns are some of the more common reasons people wish to modify custody, but they are not the only ones. In some cases, parents may seek to modify custody orders if their child is being abused, or if their co-parent is behaving in dangerous or reckless ways. In such cases, you can seek a temporary protective order, which should allow the child to be removed from the abusive parent’s household pending a hearing.

Steps to modify a child custody order

If you have a permanent custody order, you will need to file a Motion to Modify. The following forms are required for the Motion:

  • Motion for Modification of Custody or Visitation Order. A Notary Public must be present when this is signed.
  • Domestic Civil Action Cover Sheet (AOC-CV-750)
    • Forms may be accessed and filled out online at
  • Certificate of Service of Process
  • Affidavit of Status of Minor Child (AOC-CV-609)
    • Forms may be accessed and filled out online at Please complete one form for each child.
  • Custody Mediation Cover Sheet and Notice for Custody Mediation Orientation.

One thing of note: All custody cases filed in North Carolina must go through the Custody Mediation Program. To modify your current custody order, you may also be required to attend another mediation session even if you have previously participated. Parties are not expected to reach an agreement during mediation but are required to attend one orientation and one mediation session at no cost. Epperson Law Group can help you with mediation. m for the calendar request will be provided to you with your copy of the Order to Calendar. “

Additional information regarding modification of a child custody order can be found here.

If I can modify an order on my own, why should I work with an attorney?

The truth of the matter is that modifying an order is a complicated process, even in North Carolina. Any time you seek to change a legal document, there are a number of hoops to jump through – and even a minor error can lead to your petition being denied. Attempting to modify the order without legal guidance can cost you time and money every time you need to refile.

Furthermore, you must provide certain documentation and evidence when you want to modify an existing order. Say, for example, you know your ex has gotten a substantial raise, and you want to request more child support. If he or she is not amenable to providing you with information about the raise, a lawyer can compel it. We are especially adept at uncovering “hidden” assets, which can help you in your claim. If your ex pushes back because he or she does not want to pay more money in support, having an experienced Charlotte order modification lawyer on your side can ensure that your best interests are fully and accurately represented.

Do you need to modify a child custody or support order in Charlotte? If so, you should contact the experienced and compassionate family law attorneys at Epperson Law Group. Call our office at 704-321-0031, or submit our contact form to schedule an appointment with a member of our team today. Our offices are located in Charlotte, Weddington, Concord, and Boone.