modifying child support

When child support orders are issued, they help to make sure the financial well-being of the minor is met. However, life is full of changes. In the Golden State, when circumstances change, parents have the right to request a modification. Let’s take a look at when and how to seek changes in the state. 

When to Seek Child Support Modifications?

If you had a significant change in your financial or living situation, you might be able to request a modification. Some of these scenarios may include:

Change in Income

Unfortunately, income levels can change over time. Whether you have lost income or gained it, that can impact child support obligations. When the courts determine child support, they consider both parents’ incomes. Any shift in those amounts will require the courts to reevaluate those payments.  

Change in Custody or Visitation

Hopefully, there is no need to change the custody arrangement. But when that happens, the existing order might need to be revised. For example, if the custody has changed from joint to sole, the child’s financial needs might have changed. When the minor spends more time with one parent, that can affect financial possibilities. 

Medical Expenses or Special Needs

Some of those changes may involve the child’s health. If they require more payment for medical expenses or have existing special needs that require more assistance, it could be a reason to change the initial order. Parents can seek modifications to account for these additional costs.

Change in Child’s Needs

As children grow, so do their financial needs. Over time, they might have more educational expenses, extracurricular activities, and other costs. Requesting a modification from the court can help cover those extra financial requirements. 

How to Request Changes

Once you have experienced a significant change in your (or your child’s) situation, you can request a modification of child support orders in California. During this time, you will need corroborating evidence to validate your claims. These can include:

  • Income statements and tax returns
  • Medical bills
  • Documentation for expenses related to medical expenses and childcare costs

After that, you will want to file a request with the court. It is highly recommended that you work with a family law attorney at this time. You will want to make sure that all the paperwork is filled out correctly and filed in an appropriate jurisdiction. 

Once that is completed, you will need to serve the other parent. They will need to respond to your modification. In any case, there will be a hearing when both sides can present their cases. The judge will consider all the evidence to make a decision. If you have a valid claim with supporting documentation, it presents a stronger claim for your side.

A new child support order is issued if the court approves the modification. Both parents must comply with the revised order. 

Find Out If You Qualify for Modification

This is a general outline for modifying child support orders in California. You will want to consult with a lawyer to determine when and how to seek changes in your situation. 

At Roberts & Zatlin Law Office, let us assist in your child support modification case. Our office in Temecula offers legal services to Menifee, Hemet, Sun City, Lake Elsinore, Winchester, Wildomar, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, Vista, San Diego, Inland Valley, and all other parts of the state. To schedule a consultation today and receive a free initial assessment of your case, please call (951) 381-8147 today.

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