In California, a child support order is a legally binding document that dictates how much money a non-custodial parent must pay to help support their child. In some cases, the original order may no longer be appropriate due to a change in the parents’ situation. If this is the case, it is possible to petition the court for a modification of the order.
When should you modify a child support order?
There are several reasons why you might petition the court to modify a child support order. One common reason is if the paying parent’s income has changed significantly since the original order was issued. If, for example, the paying parent lost their job or experienced a significant decrease in income, they may be able to get the amount of child support reduced.
Another reason to modify a child support order is if the receiving parent’s expenses have changed significantly. If, for example, the cost of daycare has increased substantially, the paying parent may be able to get the amount of child support increased.
Lastly, if the child’s needs have changed, you may petition to modify the child support order. For example, if the child has developed a medical condition that requires expensive treatment, the paying parent may be required to pay more in child support to help cover those costs.
How do you petition the court for a modification?
The first step in petitioning the court for a modification is to file a motion with the court that issued the original child support order. Per family law guidelines, the motion must explain why you are requesting a modification and what has changed since the original order was issued.
After one parent files the motion, a hearing may get scheduled where a judge will decide whether to grant or deny the modification. Remember that modifying a child support order can get complicated, and there is no guarantee that the judge will agree to your request.
If you believe that it’s time to modify your child support order, it’s important to understand the process and what you’ll need to do. Just remember that if the other parent does not agree to the modification, you may still be able to get it approved by the court.