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California Child Support Modification: What You Should Know

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Can You Modify Existing Child Support Orders in California?

It is possible to modify existing child support orders in California. These modifications could either reduce or increase the amount of child support payments required on a monthly basis. However, certain changes in circumstances must apply, and not all changes may be considered legally valid reasons for child support modifications.

Additionally, just because you and your ex-spouse agree to a change in child support does not mean that that is where things end. You can simply agree between yourselves to change child support orders; however, if you have a prior order, in order to prevent the other person from claiming arrears (underpayment of a court order), you should make the modification legal and get it approved as a court order. Sometimes, the modification must be brought in front of the Judge who will approve or deny the requested changes to child support orders.

To learn more about modifying child support, please contact our California law firm to discuss your questions and concerns with experienced child support attorneys.

What May Be Acceptable Grounds for Requesting Child Support Modifications?

If you believe you have a valid reason for requesting child support modifications, you should attempt to file a motion as soon as possible. The sooner you begin your child support modification case, the sooner you can either save or recover more child support each month.

Only certain unique changes in circumstance may qualify an individual for a change in child support.

Qualifying changes in circumstances may include the following:

  • Active military service deployment. Those who are deployed in the US military may not be able to provide timely child support payments. To discuss the complexities of your child support case, please contact experienced child support lawyers at our California law offices.
  • Change in the child’s needs. If the child has new health care requirements, educational expenses, or increased childcare costs, this could be a cause for child support modifications.
  • Custody or visitation changes. If there has been a change in child custody, then it stands to reason that child support payment may also change. Additionally, if the parenting time or parenting plan has changed, then there may be a cause for change in child support as well.
  • Disability. If either parent becomes disabled, they may not be able to provide for the child or make child support payments as were previously arranged. If you have suffered a new disability, contact our law firm to discuss your case with our child support lawyers.
  • Incarceration. If the paying parent is incarcerated, they will not have the means to provide child support as was previously agreed to. If you are facing legal issues, including the prospect of incarceration, please contact our California law firm to discuss your child support legal matters today.
  • Job loss. If a parent is laid off or fired from their place of employment, they may not be able to pay child support as was previously arranged in the area. If you have suffered the loss of a job, you may qualify for a change in child support arrangements.
  • New children. If either parent must now care for their new children, be they natural born or adopted, this could be considered a valid reason for a change in child support orders.
  • New job. If either parent gets a new job that pays better than the previous one, this could be cause for a change in child support. It is possible that the custodial parent no longer requires as much child support as they previously did. Or it could be that the noncustodial parents now have more means to provide additional financial support monthly.
  • Remarriage. If either parent remarries, this could significantly impact existing child support orders. While the new spouse does not have a legal obligation to support a child that is not theirs, the calculations could still be impacted and need to be revisited.

What is the Process for Requesting a Child Support Modification?

There are several key steps to requesting child support modifications. The first among them is to file a motion with the court. This application should demonstrate the significant change in circumstances that warrant the modification of child support.

After filing the motion, the other parent must be provided an opportunity to respond. Then, both parents may be required to provide an updated accounting of their income and expenses.

If the two parents cannot agree to the change in child support, then a court hearing will be scheduled. During this courtroom appearance, the legal representation for each parent will present their case, and the judge will render their final decision.

Once the family law judge has made the decision, a new child support court order will be issued.

What Evidence is Needed to Support Your Child Support Modification Request?

Several pieces of evidence and important documentation may be required to support a child support modification request.

This evidence may include the following:

  • Your income and expenses.
  • Current child custody arrangement.
  • Childcare expenses.
  • Health insurance for you and your children.
  • Disability status.
  • Unemployment benefits.
  • Jail or prison time status.
  • Retirement income.
  • Current parenting plan.

Contact Us for an In-Depth Case Evaluation Today

Our law firm has extensive experience in all practice areas related to family law in California. If you are facing challenges related to your ability to make it by with the current child support arrangement with your ex-spouse, it may be time to consider opening a child support modification case. Our experienced child support attorneys would be proud to represent your legal rights in pursuit of child support modifications.

To learn more about our legal services, please contact our Campbell, California law office to schedule your initial consultation today. We look forward to speaking with you. 408-688-9153.

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