Kevin Qualls Family Law
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How can one modify a child support order?

The state of California has guidelines it uses to determine how much a parent should pay in child support. These child support guidelines take each parent's income into account as well as other factors in reaching a decision. As a very general rule, this results in a child support order that is appropriate. While this child support amount may work well for a period of time, a significant life event could take place that makes it necessary to modify the amount of child support owed.

Either parent can request a child support modification. If one's income changed greatly, perhaps due to a job loss or a promotion, this may be a significant enough reason to modify a child support order. In addition, if there have been significant changes in how much time the child spends with each of his or her parents, this might also be a significant enough reason to modify a child support order. Of course, this post cannot guarantee what will absolutely qualify as a significant change, so interested individuals should seek professional advice if they want to know if their situation is significant enough to warrant a change in a child support order.

Once one parent requests a child support modification, the court will base the new child support amount owed on the current circumstances, including each party's income and how much time they each spend with the child. In fact, it is entirely possible for the amount of support owed to either increase or decrease.

One important fact to keep in mind is that the parent responsible for paying child support still must do so up until the point where the child support order is modified. This is true even if the paying parent's financial circumstances have changed prior to the modification.

Once orders for support are made, life changes can disrupt the parent's ability to pay. When this happens, a parent can seek a modification. With the right help, parents seeking to modify a child support order can learn what steps they need to take to make the change official.

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Kevin Qualls Family Law
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