Your Guide Through Challenging Times

Can I ask for a change to my child support order?

| Nov 12, 2020 | Divorce |

Life brings many changes, which could mean that your child support order does not continue to meet your needs or the needs of your child. If this happens, you certainly can make a modification request. 

Both parents have the right to request a change in a support order. However, the California Courts note that you must show a change in circumstances if you request a court decision on the matter. 

Change in circumstances

The most common reasons for a modification request are changes in income that are drastic. Either one parent starts making a much higher income or has some other major positive financial change or one parent has a loss of income or negative financial change. 

It is important to understand that the change in circumstances should be something significant and ongoing. For example, loss of income for missing a week of work due to illness is not significant enough to request a modification. You will return to work with only a short-term loss. 

The court will review your whole case when making a modification decision. This could result in changes you did not expect, such as an increase in support payments. 

File a request

If you wish to have the court review your case for a modification, you will need to file a motion with the court. You can also come to an agreement with the other parent outside of court. If you do this, you will only need the judge to sign the agreement to put it into effect. 

Note that the old orders for child support remain in effect until you have new orders signed by a judge. This applies even if you and the other parent reach an agreement of your own.