How to Modify Child Support in California

Modify Child Support - Stockton Child Support Questions

If you’re a divorcing parent in Stockton or elsewhere in San Joaquin County, you probably have questions about child support laws in California – and that’s perfectly normal. Child support is important to get right the first time, though – because although you can modify child support in California, it requires you to go back to court.

Modify Child Support? Here’s Why Some People Need To

In the vast majority of child support cases, parents need to modify terms because of a significant change in circumstances. However, sometimes parents modify child support because the judge in their case ordered an amount that fell below the guideline amount.

Those are the only two instances in which you can go to court to modify child support.

So what’s a significant change in circumstances? When one (or both) parents:

  • Has had a change in income
  • Has lost a job
  • Has been incarcerated (although there are special circumstances that apply in this case)
  • Had another child from another relationship

Other reasons parents may seek to modify child support include a big change in the parenting time agreement or in the child’s needs as far as child care, healthcare or education. Additionally, if there are changes in any of the factors the courts used to initially calculate the amount of child support, you can ask the court to modify the order.

How to Modify Child Support

If you and your ex-spouse can agree on the modification amount, then you can write it up as a “stipulation” and give it to the judge. If the judge agrees with what you’ve come up with, he or she will sign it and it’ll become a new order.

However, if you and your ex-spouse cannot agree, you’ll have to petition the court to ask for the change. If that happens, the court will evaluate your request and you’ll have to show that there’s a good reason you want to modify your child support order.

Working With Your Lawyer to Modify Child Support

For most people, the best idea is to work with a Stockton child support lawyer to make modifications to an existing child support agreement. Your lawyer will need to know what kind of significant change there’s been since the original order was entered, so if you or your ex-spouse has lost a job, had a large change in income, or has had a child from another relationship, explain the situation to your attorney. She’ll file the appropriate paperwork with the court, and she’ll ask you for documentation that backs up your claim – the judge in your case may need to see it.

Do You Need to Talk to a Stockton Divorce Attorney?

If you need to talk to a lawyer about your divorce, child support or child custody, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 209-910-9865 or get in touch with a Stockton divorce attorney online to schedule a consultation today. We’ll discuss your case, find out about your circumstances and start formulating a plan that gets you and your children the best possible outcome.