Child Support Division
Services: Review and Adjustment
Setting child support obligations under the North Dakota Child Support Guidelines does not ensure that orders, over time, continue to meet the support standards set by the guidelines. Therefore, orders may be periodically reviewed and, if appropriate, adjusted to the guideline amount.
Regional Child Support Units (RCSUs) will generally review child support orders that are at least three years old. This means that it has been at least three years since the order was entered or last reviewed. The RCSU will review orders that are less than three years old in some situations. These situations are called exceptions to the three-year rule (20kb pdf). If your child support order is less than three years old, and you wish to have it reviewed, you may contact your RCSU if you need more information on any of the exceptions.
If the family entitled to support is receiving public assistance under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the RCSU will review the order even if neither parent requested a review. This is because the rights to support in those cases are assigned to the Department of Human Services. In cases in which the family entitled to support is not receiving public assistance under TANF, the RCSU will only initiate the review upon the written request of either the custodial parent or non-custodial parent.
If you wish to request a review of your child support order, you may do so by making the request in writing to the RCSU. The request should contain your name and social security number as well as the other parent's name and social security number (if known). If a case is not already open with an RCSU, an application for services will also be required.
To do the review, the RCSU gathers the non-custodial parent's financial information. The information is then applied to the guidelines. When the review is complete, each parent will receive notice of the results of the review. Results of the review may show no adjustment is appropriate, an upward adjustment is appropriate, or a downward adjustment is appropriate. There are opportunities for each parent to agree or disagree with the results. In any event, a court must approve any final adjusted order.
If a parent wishes to pursue an adjustment of an order that is less than three years old and the order does not fit any of the "exceptions to the three-year rule," such action must be taken privately. For example, the parent can hire a private attorney to take this action. Or the parent may wish to use child support modification forms that were created by the Supreme Court for parents who are representing themselves.