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Requirements for Modification Petition

A Petition for Modification of Child Support must generally show the following in order to assert a valid claim:

  1. That the final order or decree was previously entered awarding permanent child support payable to or by the petitioner, or that a final order was previously entered awarding no child support;
  2. That the child support is payable in weekly, monthly, or some other periodic installment;
  3. That there has been the required change in condition, as mandated by O.C.G.A. §§ 19-6-19 and 19-6-18;
  4. That the alleged change in condition occurred between the date the original order or decree was entered and the date the petition for modification is filed. In situations where a prior modification action was filed and fully adjudicated, the change in condition must occur between the date of the order on the prior modification claim and the date the current petition for modification is filed;
  5. That the petition for modification is not being filed within a two year period from the date of a final order on a previous modification action filed by the same parent. This two year limitation does not apply if the modification action is being filed to modify the initial judgment and decree concerning child support.

See O.C.G.A. §§ 19-6-18, 19-6-19 and 19-6-21. See also Holland v. Holland, 222 Ga. 467 (1966), McClinton v. McClinton, 217 Ga. 283 (1961), Thorp v. Thorp, 258 Ga. 220 (1988).

As these general requirements are governed by many of the same sections of Georgia law that govern the modification of alimony, the requirement listed above must also be met by any party seeking to modify an award of alimony. See our article entitled “Modification of Alimony Requirements and Evidence” for more detail concerning the requirements for a claim for modification of alimony and child support and the evidence that may support those claims. Additionally, because these are only the general requirements for a petition for modification of child support, your petition for modification of child support may require more detail or other legal allegations to be valid, depending on the specific circumstances of your case.

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