What You Need to Know about Child Support Modifications

Posted in Child Support on December 30, 2023

Modifications to California child support occur when either parent requests a change in the amount ordered by the court to support a child. The following guidance can simplify the modification process. A child support lawyer in Solana Beach can offer support if you wish to modify California child support.

Modifications Can be Temporary or Permanent

Modifications to child support are allowed by the courts when new life circumstances have a tremendous impact on the current child support amount. For example, temporary changes can occur when a child’s educational needs increase for a year. Permanent changes may be necessary if a parent becomes disabled.

Reasons to Request Modifications to Child Support

Every child’s needs are unique. And each family will meet with varying challenges. We share some of the common reasons a modification may be requested.

  • One or both parents’ incomes have modified. Reducing hours, getting a new job, or getting a job promotion can bring significant changes to a family.
  • One or both parents are supporting children from other relationships.
  • A parent experiences military deployment.
  • Educational or medical needs change for a child.
  • The terms of visitation or custody have shifted significantly.
  • The factors used to determine the original child support amount have shifted.

There are as many reasons to request modification as there are families. When parents can work together and agree to adjustments, a judge can approve the changes to child support without having to go through court.

How to Request a Modification

If you are requesting a modification through a local child support agency, a case must be opened and can be done at any time. No charges apply for requesting a modification. You will need to supply the following information:

  • Proof of income and expenses
  • Medical insurance
  • Child care costs
  • Disability status
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Jail or prison status
  • Current visitation and custody arrangements
  • Retirement income

The local child support agency will review the information and the request for an increase or decrease. The general rule for modifications requires a change of 20% or $50 to occur, depending on which is less. These changes may require additional reviews depending on whether or not both parents live in the same state.

File the Appropriate Paperwork

A stipulation agreement may be created if both parents agree to the requested terms. Otherwise, a hearing will be scheduled to determine if a modification request is granted. If a local agency denies the request, you can still proceed with a request for modification in court.

Make copies of the paperwork before filing them with the court. The other parent will need to be served once filing has occurred. Paperwork may need to be submitted to a local child support agency if they are not currently involved in the case.

Estimating the new amount for child support can be done by using the California child support calculator.

Get Answers About Solana Beach Child Support Modifications

Life is constantly changing, requiring modifications to the support available for a child. If you have questions surrounding modifications, work with a knowledgeable Solana Beach child support attorney to ensure the process is handled efficiently and the request meets your child’s needs based on the changes surrounding your situation. Ratzer|Dobis focuses exclusively on California family law and can help you seek the best outcome for your family.