Alaska Child Support Services Division

Frequently Asked Questions about Modifications


Table of Contents

  1. I am the paying parent and just changed jobs. Should I request a modification to my child support order?
  2. I lost my job and don’t know when I will get a new one. Should I request a modification?
  3. The custody in the original order has changed. Can I ask for a modification?
  4. How long will it take to get my modification done?
  5. My child will turn 18 soon, but is still in school. What do I need to do?
  6. Will Child Support Services collect the arrears after the child has emancipated?
  7. If the noncustodial parent’s income has changed since the last child support order was issued, can the order be changed?
  8. I have a court order to be changed but can't afford an attorney. Where can I go for help?
  9. Is there some way to find out if the noncustodial parent’s income has increased?
  10. Why does CSSD ask for the custodial parent’s income when only the noncustodial parent’s income is used to calculate child support ?


1.  I am the paying parent and just changed jobs. Should I request a modification to my child support order?

You will be required to supply 3 pay stubs. If you have taken a pay cut you will be required to explain why.


2.  I lost my job and don’t know when I will get a new one. Should I request a modification?

Unemployment is considered a temporary condition and we will not base a modification on unemployment benefits


3.  The custody in the original order has changed. Can I ask for a modification?

If you have a court order and have made other arrangements than what the order states you will have to go to court to have the custody addressed. The court should also address the child support when they change the custody. If you have an administrative order you will need to let Child Support Services know by way of letters from neighbors, schools, day care etc. so that we can modify the child support obligation


4.  How long will it take to get my modification done?

Child Support Services must notify both parties when a modification is requested. The parties have 30 days to submit all the requested documents, once the 30 days has lapsed, CSSD will do the calculation. If there is more that 15% change the order will be complete if it is an administrative order. If it is court order the file must go to the Office of the Attorney General. From there it will go to the courts to a judge. The whole process could take anywhere from 2 months to 6 months. Your modification effective date will be the 1st of the month after the notices are mailed out.


5.  My child will turn 18 soon, but is still in school. What do I need to do?

If you are not sure if your order has Post Majority support you can contact the Child Support office and request Post Majority support be added. You will be required to supply a letter from the High School stating the expected date of graduation for your child. Please remember to request this prior to the 18th birthday.


6.  Will Child Support Services collect the arrears after the child has emancipated?

Yes, as long as the party who applied for our services has not withdrawn we will continue to enforce all available options to collect the arrears. Interest will still accrue on the arrears and will be reported to the Credit Bureaus, PFD and IRS.


7.  If the noncustodial parent’s income has changed since the last child support order was issued, can the order be changed?

Yes. The child support agency or the courts can modify the order if the noncustodial parent’s income has increased or decreased enough to cause a change that is greater than 15% in child support. Other reasons why the case could qualify for a modification include change in custody, need for medical support or adding post majority support.

Please remember that the agency can modify only those support orders that were set by the agency. If the court set the order, such as in a divorce proceeding, only a court can modify the order. You or your attorney can motion the court to modify your child support order or the agency can submit the determinations to the court system.


8.  I have a court order to be changed but can't afford an attorney. Where can I go for help?

You may contact CSSD and we will review the information. You can call us at (907) 269-6900 in Anchorage or out of state or 1 (800) 478-3300 in Alaska to request a review and modification of your child support order. If our review shows that a modification of the order is appropriate, we will send it on to the Department of Law who will take the case to court.

If you want to file the motion in court yourself, you may get a Pro Se packet from any courthouse or CSSD office. Also, in Anchorage, you may contact the Alaska Court System Family Law Self-Help Center at (907) 264-0851.


9.  Is there some way to find out if the noncustodial parent’s income has increased?

Yes, the child support agency will use the information we have available to automatically review income information yearly or if either parent requests a review. As a part of the process, we will look at the noncustodial parent’s current income as reported to the Department of Labor. If we determine the income has changed enough to cause a change that is more then 15% in the child support amount, we can adjust the child support order, or present the information to the court for modification.


10.  Why does CSSD ask for the custodial parent’s income when only the noncustodial parent’s income is used to calculate child support?

In cases where the custody determination is something other than primary or sole custody, both parents' income is used for the calculations. In rare cases where the custodial parent has extraordinary income, that income might be considered.