Sometimes, after the judge sets the amount of child support, circumstances or income changes and the amount of the child support is no longer correct. Maybe the noncustodial parent gets a much better job and is making a lot more money. Maybe the noncustodial parent loses his or her job and is not making any money or can only find a new job that pays a lot less money. Sometimes one of the parents becomes disabled and is no longer able to work at all. Sometimes the parents reconcile and start living together again. Sometimes the child goes to live with the parent ordered to pay support.
There are three procedures Iowa Child Support can use to change the amount of child support someone is ordered to pay. These are:
Review and Adjustment of Child Support
Review and Adjustment. Iowa Child Support will do a Review and Adjustment when there has been a change that would cause the amount of child support to go up or down by more than 20%. An example of such a change would be the noncustodial parent becoming disabled or starts earning more/less than when the order was originally entered. The change must have lasted for at least 3 months and will continue for another 3 months. Iowa Child Support will also do a Review and Adjustment if the child has no health insurance and the noncustodial parent becomes able to get health insurance for the child, such as through an employer. Iowa Child Support will only do a Review and Adjustment if the current order ends more than 12 months from the date the request for review is received and if it has been at least two years since the last time the amount of child support was changed. Either parent can request the Review.
Administrative Modification. Another thing Iowa Child Support can do to change the amount of a child support payment is called an Administrative Modification. This can be done if a parent's net income (after taxes) has changed by 50% or more. Also, the current order must end more than 12 months from the date Iowa Child Support receives the request to change the amount of support. There are many other reasons for doing an Administrative Modification, though most of them don't come up as often. CSRU will do an administrative modification when a child needs to be added to the order, when a noncustodial parent is no longer a minor, when the original order did not set a child support amount or set it at zero, and when there is a mistake in the order that needs to be corrected.
Cost-of-Living Alteration. This is a special type of administrative modification. Parents must agree to this type of change in writing. Instead of determining the support obligation by using the Guidelines, Iowa Child Support uses the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to calculate the support amount.