Before we can understand what is a Child Support Modification, we must understand what child support is. Under California law, child support is defined as the amount of money that either or both parents can be ordered to pay to the other (or to another guardian) to cover a fair percentage of the costs of raising a child.
Typically, these payments are made monthly, and the amount is decided during divorce proceedings, or in the event that the parents were never married, at any such time that one parent files a request for support with the courts.
California judges use a specific list of factors to determine the amount of support paid, including the needs of the child and the income of both parents. It is also true that these circumstances can and will change throughout the child’s lifetime, at which point a parent may request a child support modification.
Let’s look at the details regarding modifications so that you can make a more informed decision about whether it might be right for you.
Reasons to Seek a Child Support Modification
As stated above, generally speaking, if the circumstances under which the agreement currently in force have changed, you might qualify for a child support modification. These include:
- Your income or the other parent’s income changes.
- You are laid off from your job, or the other parent gets a new job.
- You become disabled.
- You go to jail/prison.
- You are deployed for military service.
- You have another child or become responsible for another person’s support.
In addition, factors specifically regarding your child can also impact support, including:
- Your custody arrangement changes.
- The needs of the child have changed. For example, if the child becomes disabled or no longer needs childcare.
If any of the above factors apply to you, you may be able to seek a child support modification. The best way to determine whether this is a wise endeavor is to consult an attorney who is an expert in family law.