Modification of Child Support in Family Law

modification of child support

If there has been a substantial change in circumstances, you can petition for modification of child support in your family law case.

This can mean that the income of the payer has changed. Sometimes the receiver will ask for an increase based on a jump in salary of the other party. Other times, the payer will ask for a decrease because he or she has been downsized or gone on disability.

If the child’s circumstances have changed, this can also be a reason for modification of child support. For instance, if the child needs expensive orthodontia, special classes, or has expensive uncovered health expenses, the custodial parent can move for a change in the order.

It is less common, but not unheard of, for changes in the receiver’s income to qualify for a modification of child support. If a custodial parent becomes disabled or loses a job through no fault of their own, then they can petition the court for new orders. However, if the custodial parent voluntarily steps down from a job (to take care of a new baby, for instance), this is generally not sufficient for a change.

If you are ordered to pay support, that obligation continues until there is a court order to change it. Even if your circumstances change significantly, you cannot stop or reduce the amount on your own. And, the court will not order a retroactive changet. So, if you have changed circumstances, you will want to get a new order immediately.

I talked to one person who became disabled when his children were in their teens. He did nothing to modify the child support order and also did not pay the support. Later, when the kids were grown and out of the house, he owed significant arrears. This is because he didn’t get a modification of child support in a timely fashion.

It is very important to note that even if a non custodial parent is delinquent on child support, you should not restrict or interfere with visitation. Your remedy is to pursue your ex through wage garnishments, asset attachments, and contempt citations. If you interfere with visitation, then you can be cited for contempt.

If you want to pursue modification of child custody in the Inland Empire, call me at 877-369-5294. I’m a family law attorney who will give you a hand.

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