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Child Support Division

Services: Review and Adjustment

Setting child support obligations under the North Dakota Child Support Guidelines does not mean that orders, over time, continue to meet the support amounts set by the guidelines. Therefore, orders may be reviewed from time to time and, if appropriate, adjusted to the guideline amount.

Regional Child Support Units (RCSUs) will generally review child support orders upon request of a parent as long as it has been at least 18 months since the order was entered or last reviewed. This is a change; in the past, an order had to be at least three years old to qualify for review. The RCSU will review orders that are less than 18 months old if certain exceptions (8.46kb pdf) exist. If your child support order is less than 18 months old, and you wish to have it reviewed, you may contact your RCSU if you need more information on any of the exceptions.

If you wish to request a review of your child support order, you may do so by sending the request in writing to the RCSU. If you are the parent who pays child support (the "obligor") or if your case involves equal residential responsibility or split residential responsibility for your children, you must send a completed Financial Affidavit (58.28kb pdf) and Contact Information (7.98kb pdf) form and documentation of your income along with your request for review. Providing this financial information up front is a new requirement based on a law change. If a case is not already open with an RCSU, an application for services will also be required.

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.

To do the review, the RCSU will apply the obligor's financial information to the guidelines. If the case involves equal residential responsibility or split residential responsibility for the children, each parent's financial information will be 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 18 months old and the order does not fit any of the "exceptions to the 18-month 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.




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