R.S. §311 Modification of Support

§311.  Modification of support; material change in circumstances; periodic review by Department of Children and Family Services; medical support

A. (1) An award for support shall not be modified unless the party seeking the modification shows a material change in circumstances of one of the parties between the time of the previous award and the time of the rule for modification of the award.

(2) The Department of Children and Family Services shall prepare and distribute information, forms, and rules for the modification of support orders, in accordance with this Subsection, and for proceeding in forma pauperis.  The information provided by the Department of Children and Family Services shall specifically include what may constitute a material change in circumstances.  The clerks of court in all parishes shall make this information available to the public upon request.  When the initial support order is entered, either the court or the department, if providing services, shall provide this information to the parties.

B. A judgment for past due support shall not of itself constitute a material change in circumstances of the obligor sufficient to reduce an existing award of support.

C. For purposes of this Section, in cases where the Department of Children and Family Services is providing support enforcement services:

(1) A material change in circumstance exists when a strict application of the child support guidelines, Part I-A of this Chapter, would result in at least a twenty-five percent change in the existing child support award.  A material change in circumstance does not exist under this Paragraph if the amount of the award was the result of the court’s deviating from the guidelines pursuant to R.S. 9:315.1 and there has not been a material change in the circumstances which warranted the deviation.

(2) Upon request of either party or on its own initiative and if the best interest of the child so requires, the department shall provide for judicial review and, if appropriate, the court may adjust the amount of the existing child support award every three years if the existing award differs from the amount which would otherwise be awarded under the application of the child support guidelines.  The review provided hereby does not require a showing of a material change in circumstance nor preclude a party from seeking a reduction or increase under the other provisions of this Section.

D. A material change in circumstance need not be shown for purposes of modifying a child support award to include a court-ordered award for medical support.

E. If the court does not find good cause sufficient to justify an order to modify child support or the motion is dismissed prior to a hearing, it may order the mover to pay all court costs and reasonable attorney fees of the other party if the court determines the motion was frivolous.

F. The provisions of Subsection E of this Section shall not apply when the recipient of the support payments is a public entity acting on behalf of another party to whom support is due.

G. A modified order for support shall be retroactive to the filing date of the  rule for modification.

Acts 1985, No. 41, §1; Acts 1993, No. 478, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1245, §1, eff. July 1, 1997; Acts 2001, No. 1082, §1; Acts 2008, No. 886, §1; Acts 2010, No. 913, §3.

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