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When Can I Modify a Child Support Order?

Once a court has ordered you to pay regular child support, you are legally obligated to make those payments. But what happens if you lose your job, or face another serious obstacle to paying support? While it can be difficult to change these payments, the state of California does allow you to petition for child support modifications if your financial circumstances change.

Whether you’re the one paying or receiving support, our Granite Bay child support lawyers can review your current child support order and offer advice on the right course of action. We know that life gets complicated, and when it does, you can rest assured that we’ll provide both aggressive advocacy and understanding counsel for your petition.

Reasons for Child Support Modification

Under California law, you can change your child support payments at any time, as long as the judge ordered an amount below the state guideline. However, if your judge ordered that you pay the full recommended amount, you will need to meet specific requirements in order to make modifications. Most importantly, you have to prove that you’ve suffered a change in circumstances that the state will recognize as affecting your order.

Here are some possible circumstance changes that can warrant a modification:

  • You or your ex-spouse lost a job.
  • Your income or earning potential has dramatically decreased (or increased).
  • You or your ex-spouse have a new child, affecting the calculations for support.
  • Either parent is sent to jail or placed in a rehabilitative institution.
  • Your child’s needs (healthcare, educational, or otherwise) have significantly changed.
  • Parenting time arrangements have been altered since the court order.

No matter how your circumstances have changed, you will need to provide the court with ample documentation about your current finances, and provide strong justifications for any new expenses. This is where a skilled child support attorney can help you get the best possible result. While you can technically petition the judge on your own, judges are extremely reluctant to modify child support unless you can provide an airtight argument that it should be reduced.

At Myers Family Law, we can review your case and see if there are any roadblocks for your child support modification. With our motivated lawyers by your side, you may be able to get the relief and support you need during a difficult time.

Call us at (916) 634-0067 today to see how we can assist with child support modifications in Granite Bay, Placer County, and Sacramento!

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