POST-DIVORCE CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION: WHEN IS IT WARRANTED?
As one of many California parents who decided to divorce, you’ve undoubtedly given a lot of thought to your children’s futures and how best to provide for their needs. Often, after divorce, those considerations involve questions of child support.
The court has the final say in all matters related to child custody and support. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that every ruling is permanent. As long as a court order exists, you and your ex are legally obligated to adhere to its terms, but there may be legitimate reasons to request a change. It’s always a good idea to seek legal guidance before requesting a child support modification.
What are the valid reasons for support modification?
Following are some legitimate reasons for seeking a change in child support:
- If the paying parent’s income increases substantially, there may be grounds for an increase in child support.
- Likewise, if the paying parent’s income is significantly reduced — perhaps due to job loss — there may be grounds for reducing support payments.
- If your children’s needs change, it may be necessary to change financial support as well.
- If the amount of support your ex is currently paying ties into visitation and he or she is not fulfilling the visitation obligation, a judge may find it appropriate to increase the amount of child support since it means you have the kids more often and your child-related expenses are consequently higher.
Whether you need to petition for a modification or seek to prevent one, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced family law attorney about your situation and goals.