If you have a child support order that is enforced through the state agency, there may be an automatic adjustment filed on your behalf for the cost of living. If this is done, notice is sent to the person ordered to pay child support stating that they have a certain amount of time to object to the COLA or it will automatically go into effect.


The obligor is able to object to the COLA on the basis that his or her income did not increase and that he or she is unable to pay an increase in child support. This can be verified through tax returns and paystubs. The court then has the opportunity to hear the issue from both parties and determine whether or not to grant the increase in child support.

Generally, when a party is given notice that a cost of living increase may go into effect, it is a good time to review the child support obligation. It is possible that the income levels of the parties have changed or other related costs, such as daycare or medical insurance. If the amount of child support that would be ordered under the current facts differs enough from the previously ordered child support amount, it is possible to receive a modification in support.

Either party is able to request a modification of child support. If the party receiving support determines that the support should increase based on the circumstances, it would be worthwhile to request a modification in child support as well. The court uses the same standard for modifying either upward or downward from the current child support award.