Complete Topic List


Help! How Do I Change The Amount Of Child Support?

Who Can I Call To Help Me Change The Amount?

The Child Support Enforcement Agency

  • Eight multi-county offices:
    • Fargo
    • Grand Forks
    • Bismarck
    • Devils Lake
    • Williston
    • Jamestown
    • Dickinson
    • Minot
  • Services are free to anyone
  • The process is slow; there are many cases to review.
  • There may also be court costs, which are normally not charged to you if you have your case reviewed through the child support unit
  • Find a private attorney, unless you are eligible for the Volunteer Lawyer Program or the Reduced Fee program.
    • Faster than Child Support Unit
    • You pay the costs
  • Represent yourself
    • You need to know all the rules
    • Write your own legal documents

How Do I Get Support Reviewed By The Child Support Unit?

Ask the local child support unit for a review in writing

  • Keep a copy. The review may start 35 months after the last support order
  • Automatic reviews begin 35 months after the last order if the custodial parent gets public assistance
  • There is no automatic review for others
  • If no one requests the review and no one receives public assistance, the child support unit may decide to review the in the best interest of the child.

What If The Court Ordered No Payments?

The order must be reviewed in 12 months, if public assistance is received.

What If Court Ordered Less Than 85% Of the Guideline?

If the ordered amount is less than the 85% of the guidelines, the support unit must seek a change in the amount.

What If It’s Been Less Than A Year Since The Last Order?

There must be a material (major) change in circumstances.


  • receipt of a windfall
  • the availability of health insurance
  • an involuntary change in income.
  • having another child.

What Information Is Needed For The Review?

  • pay stubs
  • tax returns
  • other items asked for by the child support unit

If the items are not provided:

  • the non custodial parent may be held in contempt of court and/or
  • ordered to pay court costs.

What If The Noncustodial Parent Files For Custody During This Process?

The child support unit cannot help you.

  • hire an attorney
  • ask the court to postpone proceedings if you need representation
  • call Legal Services of ND for further information, or
  • represent yourself

Disclaimer: This information is not legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should talk to a lawyer and ask for advice about your options.

February 2019
Section 14-09-08.4 N.D. C.C.
Section 50-09 N.D.C.C.
538 NW 2d 182 (N.D. 1995)