Modification of Child Support in California

If you are divorced or separated and you need to seek to have your current child support order modified, you can do so provided that you can demonstrate a material change in circumstances. To avoid being inundated with requests for nominal child support modifications, the California courts will only consider requests that are based on significant changes in the parents’ ability to pay or the children’s needs. If you would like to determine whether you are eligible to seek a modification, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our Orange County child support attorneys.

Grounds for Requesting a Modification of Child Support in Orange County

The California courts recognize a variety of different events that qualify as material changes in circumstances. However, the occurrence of one (or more) of these events does not automatically trigger eligibility for a modification. In order to successfully modify your existing child support order, you must be able to demonstrate that the change is material to you given your personal family and financial circumstances. With this in mind, potential grounds for modifying child support in Orange County include:

  • A change in one or both parents’ income
  • A change in the parents’ parenting time schedule
  • One parent’s loss of a job
  • One parent having a child in another relationship
  • One parent becoming incarcerated
  • A change in the child’s health care, child care or educational needs

As explained on the California courts’ website, “If the parents . . . can reach an agreement on a new amount of child support, they can write it up as a stipulation and give it to the judge for signature and to have it become a new order.” However, if you and your former spouse or partner cannot agree on an appropriate modification, then you will need to independently file a petition for modification. In either case, until you receive a formal modification order from the court, you must continue to adhere to your existing child support order.

What Change(s) have Affected Your (or Your Former Spouse or Partner’s) Ability to Pay?

Prior to seeking a child support modification, it is important to ensure that you have a clear understanding of all of the various changes that might warrant revisiting your current child support award. For example, if you file a petition to decrease your monthly child support payments, could your former spouse or partner argue that another change actually warrants an increase in your support obligation? Due to this type of concern, before taking any formal legal steps or approaching your former spouse or partner about the possibility of negotiating an agreement, we encourage you to discuss your situation with one of our experienced Orange County child support attorneys.

Schedule a Confidential Initial Consultation With Our Orange County Child Support Attorneys

If you would like to find out if you are eligible to seek modification of your Orange County child support order, please contact us to schedule a confidential initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. To schedule an appointment at your convenience, call us at 949-474-0800 or inquire online today.