Review of Order Amounts

Who can request a review of an order? 

Either parent can get help to have a child support order reviewed at least every three years, or whenever there is a substantial change in circumstances, to ensure that the order remains fair.

What happens when a child support order is reviewed? 

The order amount may increase or decrease, or there may be no change to the order.

Where should I ask for a review? 

If you have a case managed by OCSE, you should request a review in writing to the child support office that you normally contact for assistance. If you do not have a case with OCSE, you will need to consult with the court or a private attorney, or apply for services with OCSE.

How often can my order be reviewed? 

Generally, child support obligations may be reviewed and adjusted, if appropriate, once every 36 months at the request of either parent. There must be a change in the noncustodial parent's gross income in an amount equal to or more than 20% per month, in order to petition the court for modification of the child support amount.

I just lost my job and can't afford to pay the support I'm ordered to pay. What can I do? 

Your support obligation does not change or stop when you lose your job. You remain financially responsible for your child or children and should continue to make your child support payments while between jobs. It is expected you will soon return to gainful employment. An order for support is a legal obligation and failure to comply with such an order can have negative consequences for you. If you anticipate a significant period of unemployment, you may wish to submit a written request that OCSE conduct a review of your obligation amount or petition the appropriate court for a possible modification of the order. If you receive Unemployment Insurance Benefits, your child support may be withheld from those benefits.

One of my children just turned 18. Will my child support payments change? 

Yes. Arkansas law provides for an automatic adjustment to the support amount for the remaining minor children as each child emancipates. The support amount must be recalculated based on the current income of the noncustodial parent utilizing the most recent version of the Arkansas Support Guidelines. You might consider requesting a review of your existing support order to ensure that the amount you will be paying for the remaining children is in line with your current income and the Arkansas Support Guidelines.

What can I do to get my support increased if it is too low? 

Check with OCSE or your attorney to see if your support order should be modified. If your support amount is found to be low based on the current financial situation of the noncustodial parent, a legal modification of your order can be sought.