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Can Children Maintenance be Changed After a Divorce is Final?

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

Yes, an order whether entered into with consent by both parties or made by the court can be changed (the legal term should be "vary") by either parent, at any stage, i.e. prior, or after divorce, or during a divorce proceeding.

The Court is granted the power to vary orders for maintenance and distinction should be made between an order that is entered into with consent by both parents and one that is not. This is usually confused or ignored during the filing of this application in Court and such application may be dismissed. (Further discussion is found in Handbook on Family Law Practice in Malaysia by Dato Chris Chin & Dato Fion Wong)

Situations That May Justified A Variation for Children Maintenance

  1. Material Change in Circumstances The party making an application to vary child maintenance Order has to prove to the court that there is a material change in circumstances such as a change in financial standing. This is when the person who makes or contributes to the children maintenance is faced with a reduction or loss of income. A situation like this is a regular scene during the pandemic when the unemployment rate spikes up to an unprecedented rate as most of the businesses were affected by the global impact of Covid-19. However, this does not mean that the person who suffered the loss of income is able to escape from the obligation to maintain the Children. The Judge will look into such circumstances on a case-to-case basis by taking into consideration both the parents financial means and the needs of the children. There are many other situations that may justify a material change in circumstances. If you are facing challenges in paying or receiving Children Maintenance, speak to us.

  2. Reasonable and for the Welfare of the Children to do so. If a variation to the Children Maintenance is deemed necessary on the ground that it is reasonable and for the welfare of the children, the Court will most likely grant variation under such circumstance. This may be a situation whereby a reasonable expense is necessary but was not taken into account during the Children Maintenance Order or that the expenses of the Children had risen due to the age and the needs of the Children. It is pertinent to note that a situation that detriments the health and safety of a child amounts to a threat to the Children welfare. Hence if a child is diagnosed with a certain medical concern that requires additional medical treatments or daily support which requires additional expenses, a custodial parent may make an application to increase the existing children maintenance from the Court. Lastly, I urge parents to give real and genuine consideration to the needs of the Children and also the means of the parent who is paying or contributing to children maintenance. Co-parenting is only sustainable if both parents are able to put the Children's interest before theirs. For any issues in relation to children maintenance or other family-related issues, click here to speak to us.



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