Modification of support In California
When circumstances change, child or spousal support can also be changed to accommodate those changed circumstances. Either parent or spouse may petition to modify a current child support or spousal support order if there is a material and substantial change in circumstances since the date of the last court order or signed agreement. However, the reasons for modification are limited, must be adequately proven, and must be approved by the court with a new support order to replace the original one. That all takes resources, like time and knowledge of this specific area of the law.
Common reasons to modify child or spousal support:
- The parent paying or receiving support is making substantially more money than was the case at the time support was determined.
- The parent paying or receiving support has lost a job, or has had a medical crisis, or has otherwise experienced a significant change in employment and or financial status (inheritance or other windfall).
When either of the parties has another child, the court may use this information to modify child support.
Whether the supported party has made an effort to become self-sufficient (e.g., long-term, progressive work experience versus sporadic work).
- The child or parent/spouse has experienced a medical emergency the places an unfair burden of medical bills and costs on the care of the parent.
How long payments have been made versus how much longer until they are terminated .
Support Modification Options
If the parents or spouses are in agreement to modify, our office can simply amend the current agreement in writing and we will file the amendment with the court asking a judge to approve it.
If the parents or spouses cannot agree, it is almost always better to try mediation first before going to court since the costs of a modification lawsuit are significant. Often times parents, spouses or ex-spouses can find common ground on the support modification issue in mediation--for a fraction of the cost of litigation.
If you choose to litigate the issue, our firm can advise you and represent you in taking appropriate actions.
How Wagner Family Law can Help
We represent clients seeking or challenging an increase, decrease, or termination of support. We can assist you on either side of these complex modification requests whether in contested proceedings or out of court negotiations like mediations. We understand it is important to keep any Support order updated to reflect the realities of both parties and their children. If you want to request a modification of spousal or child support contact Jason Wagner today for a free consultation. Contact us today for a free consultation by filling out our online form or calling at 916-238-3884 to see how we can help you on these and other issues in your divorce.