Can you modify a child support order in California?
In California, child support orders are not permanently in place. However, to change one, you must present an argument to sufficiently prove it is necessary.
The court requires any parent petitioning for a change of support to meet certain criteria.
How do you modify a support order?
The first step in changing a support order is to file a motion requesting a decrease or increase in support with the court that made the initial order. If you pay child support based on an informal agreement with your co-parent, the court does not consider that legally binding. To request a modification, you will need a previous legal order.
What criteria must you meet?
The most common reason for modifying child support is when one or both parents have a significant change in income. It could be an increase, such as getting a new job or raise, or a decrease, such as losing a job. Other examples of modification factors include:
- Your child’s medical or educational needs change.
- Either parent has another child from a new relationship, increasing their financial responsibility.
- Either parent becomes incarcerated or institutionalized for more than 90 days.
- Factors, such as taxes, union dues or insurance costs, change.
- The time the child spends with each parent changes.
The parent seeking the modification is responsible for presenting documentation, such as medical bills, parenting arrangements or employment status, to prove their reason for needing the change.
The court bases all child support decisions on what is in the child’s best interest.