Modifying Child Support

Authored By: Lagniappe Law Lab


About Modifying Child Support

There are many reasons for a modification of a support order, such as employment change, the children living with a different parent, or incurring new debt or medical bills. You can ask the court to change the amount of child support any time there is a material change in circumstances for one parent. Typical modifications might happen when there are changes in income or custody arrangement. A modification may also happen when the needs of the child change or the child turns eighteen. There must be a material change of circumstances to change a child custody amount and that material change of circumstances must have occurred between the time of the award and the time of filing a motion to modify. There may be a court hearing to determine an increase or decrease in the child support amount.

Here, you can change a child support order if you meet certain conditions including

  • The order must be in effect or changed more than three years before the new request.

  • There must be a difference between the order and the current guidelines of 25%.

  • There must be a material and substantial change in circumstances.

Either parent can file a request to change child support. A parent may go to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) if they have an open or existing case. A parent may go directly to the court if their child support case is not open or active with DCFS.

You may consider contacting an experienced family law attorney if you need help. An attorney can help you understand the process and help you protect your rights. An attorney can review your situation and help you file the necessary paperwork. The attorney can also represent you in court and advocate for your interests.

How To Ask DCFS To Review Your Case

Ask DCFS To Review Your Case

You can go to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to request a review. DCFS may ask the court to modify the existing child support order. All child support modifications go through the court process. DCFS can help you through the process if you have an existing or open child support case.

The fastest way to request a review of your child support amount is by clicking here: Request for Review.

You may also request a review in the following ways:

  • Contact the DCFS Customer Service Center at 1-888-524-3578 to request a review.

  • Send a message to your work through the CAFÉ Self Service Portal,  Child Support Enforcement Message Center; or

  • Print, complete, and submit the “Request for Review” form along with documentation to the following: DCFS Document Processing Center / Child Support Enforcement, P.O. Box 260032 Baton Rouge, LA 70826

Next Steps To Process Your Request

To process your request, DCFS needs the following information within 30 days of your request:

  • your income (including written proof of current wages and most recent federal income tax return)

  • child care costs

  • any other expenses for your child, which might include:

  • health insurance,

  • educational (for attending a private or special school),

  • transportation expenses (out-of-town visitation), and

  • medical expenses not covered by health insurance paid for the children in this case

Please label each document with your case number (Example: 123456-01), name and Last 4 of Social Security Number or your DOB and mail to us at: 

DCFS Document Processing Center / Child Support Enforcement

P.O. Box 260032 

Baton Rouge, LA 70826

NOTE: Do not send original documents. 

How To Ask A Court To Modify Child Support

How To Ask A Court To Modify Child Support

In Louisiana, either parent can file a request from the Court to change child support. In Louisiana, you must request child support modifications through the court system. If you do not have an existing or open case with DCFS then you may need to file a petition with the court on your own. The petition should include the reasons why the change is being requested.

The court may grant a temporary or permanent modification of child support. A temporary modification may get used to account for a one-time cost for the needs of a child. This might be for situations such as the child getting braces or school uniforms. A permanent modification considers substantial changes in the needs of the child. For example, a child may become disabled with special needs and the costs of raising the child may change.

Generally, a modification of child support requires a formal court hearing. The court sets a hearing date and all parties may have an opportunity to speak and present evidence. The court will then issue a new order based on the evidence and the argument presented.

If the court grants the petition, the new child support order will replace the existing order. It is important to note that the court cannot retroactively modify a child support order. This means that any changes to the order will only apply to payments made after the court issues the new order. Once the new order is issued, both parties must abide by its terms.

How To File A Rule To Modify Child Support

A parent can file a Petition for Modification with the court to change a child support order. To file, you may use the SES 668 Rule to Modify Child Support. Click here.

The petition can get filed in the parish where the original order got established. 

When you file your petition, include information on your current financial situation. This may include information about income and other expenses.

Find out before you come to the court how much it will cost to file and serve your papers. Contact the Clerk of Court’s Office to tell you how much the fees are. 


Your completed SES 668 Rule To Modify Court Support form must be filed in court. Make copies of your signed form before you go to court with your papers. You will need a copy you can keep for your records and a copy for each party that you must serve. You will file the original form. Ask the court to stamp all your papers and copies.

You must serve your court papers on the person on the other side of the case. You must also serve court papers to any government office that is a part of the case. Service gets completed by the sheriff's office. Go to the sheriff's office and ask to serve your court papers. You may need to check with the sheriff's office after to make sure the papers got served.

Ask the clerk of court when and how you will find out about your court hearing. The court reviews the petition and may schedule a hearing. During the hearing, you may present evidence and your argument why you need a change in child support. During a court hearing the judge may listen to what each side has to say before making a decision. If the court decides that you need a change in child support, the court will issue a new court order.

Last Review and Update: Feb 14, 2023
Was this information helpful?
Back to top