Every three years, any parent can ask the Child Support Services Division (CSSD) to schedule a review and adjustment conference. At the conference, both parents will be asked to provide current information regarding their income, childcare expenses, medical insurance availability and expenses, other children in the home, and other child support orders. CSSD will use this information to calculate the amount of support to be paid under the DC Child Support Guideline . If this new amount is different from the old amount by 15% or more, a motion to modify the order can be filed.
Substantial and Material Change
A parent does not have to wait three years to request a modification. Any parent can request a review and adjustment conference, or file a motion to modify, if there has been a substantial and material change in the non-custodial parent’s (NCP’s) ability to pay or in the needs of the child(ren). Generally, this means that the new order amount must be different from the current order amount by 15% or more. CSSD will proceed with the review only if you provide sufficient evidence of substantial and material change in circumstances.
Requesting a Modification of Medical Support
If your support order does not include a medical support order, or if you want a change in the medical support order, you can request a review and adjustment conference, or a motion to modify can be filed to add or modify a medical support order.
What is the DC Child Support Guideline?
The DC Child Support Guideline is the law that determines how much support an NCP should pay. By law, only certain information is used in a formula to calculate the Guideline amount which includes:
- The incomes of both parents
- The custodial parent’s childcare expenses
- The NCP’s medical insurance expenses for the child
- The NCP’s other child support obligation amount
- The number of NCP’s biological or adopted child(ren) living in the household
How to Schedule a Review and Adjustment Conference
Contact the Customer Service Unit at (202) 442-9900, or visit the office at 441 4th Street NW, Room 550 North, Washington, DC 20001, Monday – Friday, 8:15 am – 4:45 pm.
What to Bring to the Conference?
Please provide copies of the following before the conference and bring any originals on the day of the conference:
- Your most recent support order
- Two current pay statements, if employed
- Your most recent federal income tax forms and/or W-2 Statements
- Proof of childcare expenses for the children in the support order
- Proof of medical insurance coverage and cost for children in the support order
- Proof of other child support orders and payments on the orders
- Proof of other biological or adopted children in the NCP’s home
- Any other information that shows there has been a substantial and material change in the NCP’s ability to pay or in the needs of the child (ren)
What Happens at the Conference?
CSSD will calculate the amount of support owed under the DC Child Support Guideline.
If both parents agree to this amount or to another amount, they can sign a consent support order that sets the new support amount and start date. However, the new support amount will not go into effect until a judge signs the order. Therefore, after the review and adjustment conference, CSSD will file the consent support order with the DC Superior Court. Once the judge signs it, it becomes effective.
When Will CSSD File a Motion to Modify?
If both parents do not agree to the Guideline amount, either party can file a motion to modify with the DC Superior Court. CSSD may file the motion to modify if certain requirements are met.
How Does a NCP File a Motion to Modify?
If you are the NCP, you must file the motion to modify at the Central Intake Center on the JM-Level of the DC Superior Court. There are forms provided to you to file the motion. After filing the motion, bring a copy to CSSD at 441 4th Street, NW, Room 550 North, Washington, DC 20001. CSSD will sign for the motion to prove that we received it. You must then return to the Central Intake Center to file the proof of service.
When Will I Get a Court Hearing?
The DC Superior Court schedules all court hearings. Generally, a hearing will be scheduled within 45 days of the date the motion is filed.
When Will My Modified Order Be Final?
A support order cannot be modified until a judge signs an order allowing the modification. This is usually after a hearing on the motion to modify. Some motions to modify are not granted, even where CSSD calculated a new guideline amount at the review and adjustment conference. Whether the request for modification is granted is at the discretion of the judge.