In California, mandated child support is based on calculations outlined in the California guideline support parameters. This calculation is known as the DissoMaster Report. However, as circumstances change and time passes, parents must sometimes change an existing child support or child custody plan.  When a parent modifies the custody or visitation plan and alters the percentage of time one parent has with the children, this impacts the California guideline child support one parent must pay.

However, it’s important to understand that parents are not required to use the guideline support under California law. If two parents mutually agree to an amount other than the DissoMaster guideline calculations, the court will still approve the order. Otherwise, the court will only mandate guideline support when a matter is contested. In these cases, the judge must calculate and impose the support under the California guidelines. This calculation is often based on an existing or modified custody and visitation plan.

How to Modify Child Custody or Visitation

Typically, parents revise custody or visitation plans every two to three years. In order to modify a child custody plan or change visitation, parents will usually meet with a mediator to discuss the matter in detail. If the parents reach an agreement, they can enter a stipulation for a new plan.

However, if parents are unable to agree on how visitation periods should change, they can request a formal hearing for the court to decide whether a change should be made. In the hearing, the moving party will have to demonstrate a significant change of circumstances. This change is necessary to modify a legal or physical custody order. Otherwise, they must show some strong basis to change the current visitation schedule. Below are some of the main reasons a parent may request to modify an existing order:

  • Change in child visitation time
  • Change in ability to pay support
  • Extreme financial hardship
  • A parent’s incarceration
  • A parent has another child with a new partner or spouse
  • The child’s needs may have changed, such as increased health care expenses

Finally, the moving parent will need to file a request for order with the court. Upon filing these legal documents, the moving party will receive a court date and must serve the opposing party. Then, they must file the proof of service with the court.

Contact A People’s Choice for more information about the required forms for seeking a request for order to change child custody or visitation. Filling out the forms incorrectly can subject you to delays and unwanted legal costs.

Changing Child Support When Custody Changes

Under California state law, parents must financially support their children upon divorce to maintain their child’s current standard of living. Plus, each parent must provide support relative to their income and the time they spend with the child. For example, if a father spends more time with his child than the mother, she will be required to pay a higher percentage of support.

Hire A People’s Choice to Modify Custody and Support in California

You do not have to hire an attorney for representation when modifying a child custody plan or child support order. Instead, A People’s Choice can help you complete and file all the required paperwork with the proper court. Plus, depending on the nature of your relationship with the child’s other parent, you may be able to reach a modification agreement and draft a stipulation without the court’s involvement.

Contact us for more information on how to modify a child custody plan or child support order in California. Call 1-800-747-2780 to speak with an experienced registered legal document assistant about your particular situation.

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