When situations change, the child support amount can too.

The child support amount doesn't automatically change. The child support amount is part of a court order so changes to the amount must be done by a court order.

Child Support will generally review the support amount and help with the court process every 18 months (18 months since the order was entered, last reviewed, or last changed) at the request of one of the parents when the case is receiving Full Services. There are some exceptions to the 18 month rule.

Either parent may request the review by submitting the Request for a Review form or a written request in any format to Child Support.

If you are the parent who pays support or if you and the other parent have split residential responsibility (split custody) or equal residential responsibility (equal custody) of your children, you must fill out the Financial Declaration and Contact Information form and return them to Child Support along with your request for a review. There are certain times when Child Support will review the child support amount even if neither parent requests a review.

The support amount is based on the income of the parent paying support and other factors. When a court order gives parents split residential responsibility or equal residential responsibility, a support amount is calculated for both parents. The Child Support Guidelines are used to calculate the support amount. The guidelines are a required method for setting the child support amount. The Child Support Guidelines must be used by Child Support, private attorneys, and the courts. The guidelines are found in Administrative Code.

When the review is complete, each parent will receive notices of the results and have an opportunity to agree or disagree with the results. A court must approve the final order.

Use the Calculator to estimate the amount of your support payment. The calculator is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The results are an estimate and depend on the accuracy of the information entered.

Parents may pursue an adjustment of the support amount if the order is less than 18 months old and doesn't meet any of the exception to the 18-month rule by taking action privately. The Child Support Modification forms, created by the North Dakota Supreme Court can be used for parents representing themselves, or a private attorney can be hired to take action.

Studies show that orders based on parents’ ability to pay support result in more consistent payments and lead to positive co-parenting relationships.