A new job doesn’t necessarily mean a new child support order, even if the job change resulted in a lower pay check. In fact, modifying an existing order can be quite difficult without the proper knowledge and the right legal support on your side. Here’s what you need to know:
Petitioning the Court to Change a Child Support Order
Although your child support payments will not automatically be changed to reflect your new title, role, and salary, you can petition the court to change your existing child support order once the job transition is official; and, if your new position pays less than the old one, you won’t want to wait to do this. However, keep in mind that the custodial parent can also request a change if your new position results in higher wages than the job you had before it.
At the forefront of the court’s concerns when reviewing a request for child support modification will be: Does the new job create a substantial change in circumstances? If the answer is yes, your request for modification is much more likely to be granted. Before petitioning the court, it is imperative that you meet with a family law attorney to discuss the process ahead of you. Knowing what to expect and how to best approach the situation will better ensure that your request is ultimately approved.
How Child Support Modifications Work
Child support modifications can be temporary or permanent. The longevity of the modification will be determined by the underlying reason for the request. For example, a medical emergency that results in substantial financial strain will likely warrant a temporary modification order, whereas a permanent job change would likely lead to a lasting modification.
General reasons for modifying a child support order include:
- Change in job/salary
- Change in the child’s basic needs
- One parent is incarcerated
- One parent remarries & the family income significantly increases as a result
- The cost of living goes up
- One parent becomes disabled
If your new job pays less and you are no longer able to comfortably make your child support payments, do not wait to speak with a lawyer. This is not an issue to sit on, as the payments will be expected and required of you until an official modification is made. Contact a Granite Bay family law attorney at our office for help.
Keep in mind, child support modifications are not retroactive. This means you will be responsible for all payments that occur after your job change and until you receive an official modification. Call (916) 634-0067 to get started!