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The Divorce Encyclopedia
COLA


Term Definition COLA - a cost of living adjustment.
Application in Divorce A COLA may come into consideration in appealing for a change in child or spousal support.

The theory is as time passes it becomes more expensive to maintain the same standard of living, so adjustments should naturally be made to compensate for this. In a sound economy, the increase in the cost of living should be offset by increased earnings or wages.

When child support guidelines are reviewed, which is about every 4 years, the cost of living is always taken into consideration when updating the support schedules. This way as child support orders are modified, the new amounts are a product of current guidelines and schedules.

COLAs are generally tied to increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a report issued monthly by the Department of Labor, or may be graduated to a local index.

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