If you believe that you are paying too much child support or that you are not receiving enough child support you may file court papers requesting a modification of child support. There are certain requirements that must be met before child support can be modified. The assistance of a family law attorney will provide you with the guidance that you will need to determine if, under your circumstances, the court has the authority to modify the child support order currently in effect. At times, the person paying child support experiences a financial emergency such as losing their job or experiencing a reduction in their income. If they can no longer pay the ordered amount of child support and do not immediately seek modification of their child support obligation they will fall behind and build up arrearages. The arrearages accrue interest until paid in full. The court has the authority to hold the person that is not paying the full amount of child support in contempt. In some cases, individuals are jailed for nonpayment of child support. If you find yourself in this position, do not wait, you should call a family law attorney. For those receiving child support, if you feel that the other parent has the capacity to pay more child support, for example, because they received a pay raise, then the sooner you file court papers for modification the better. By law, a child support order cannot be modified retroactively. The modification can begin from the day that the other party has notice of the court action, but not before.