Kevin Qualls Family Law
Maintaining Professionalism. Preserving Civility. Finding Answers. Practical Guidance On Important Divorce And Custody Matters

Review of how to get a child support modification

With the end of the year approaching, it is a good time for Orange County parents to review their finances. As part of this review, they may realize that they are paying too much child support. Other parents might discover that, for a lot of reasons, the child support the other parent is providing is simply no longer enough to be fair.

Just like other states, California does not treat support orders, even if they are agreed to, as set in stone. Instead, the state courts recognize that things can change in the life of a family. As these changes occur, it may be necessary to revisit child support orders. It is usually a good idea to consult with one's family attorney before doing so.

One important thing to remember, however, is that a court can only approve changes in child support about which it is aware. Therefore, informal agreements between the parents or, worse, a parent's unilateral decision that he can no longer afford child support, are not going to have legal effect.

No one should presume to stop paying support or, for that matter, to count on additional payments unless there is a court order specifying as much in place. To get a court order, both parents must sign and submit a modified support agreement. Otherwise, one parent must request a review of the court's orders.

If one's current support order actually calls for an amount of child support below what California's support guidelines specify, then either parent at any time can ask for the court to review the order. Otherwise, a parent must show that there has been what the law calls a change in circumstances. A change in circumstances can include things like a parent's getting a better job, job loss or change in how often each parent is seeing the child.

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