A parent with custody of a child can ask the other parent to provide child support for financial help. Parties do not need to be seeking a divorce in order for a parent to seek child support. Additionally, a parent who was never married to the other parent can also seek child support. Individuals in both of these cases and others may also modify their child support orders under certain circumstances.
Sometimes, a person ordered to pay child support may experience difficulties in paying the ordered amount. On the other hand, the parent receiving support may also seek an increase in the amount paid. As with most court-ordered payments, an individual seeking a modification in a child support order must ask the court’s permission. There are several criteria for modifying child support orders in California.
What Does the Court Consider When Modifying Child Support Orders in California?
In most cases, the court will change a child support order if they find changed circumstances to the paying party’s situation. These changed circumstances can include:
- Loss of income;
- Increase in income;
- Expansion of the family, such as having another child; and
How Can Parents Work Out a New Order?
Parents can come to an agreement about the new amount of child support to be paid after consulting the California guidelines on child support. However, in this case, the parents would need to sign off on the agreement. Additionally, if they involved the local child support agency, their representative would need to sign off as well. Then, the parents would present the agreement to the judge for final approval. Keep in mind that unless a judge signs off on an order, the parents cannot legally make a change.
Process for Modifying Child Support Orders in California
Believe it or not, you can file to create or change a child support order without hiring an attorney. For example, to modify child support, you must start by filling out a request for an order form, and a form detailing your financial situation. Luckily, you can ask a family law facilitator to review these forms, or you can contact A People’s Choice. We are an experienced, non-attorney, affordable legal document preparation service that can prepare these forms for you.
Before filing the forms with the court clerk, you must first make several copies. Then, after filing the forms and receiving a court date, arrange for the other parent to be served with the paperwork and notice of the court hearing. This must be done 16 days before the hearing. Additionally, remember to include blank copies of a Responsive Declaration to Request for Order form and an Income and Expense Declaration form. After the hearing, there are some additional forms you must file to make the change or modification into a court order.
A People’s Choice Provides Low-Cost Self-Help Legal Document Preparation
If you are considering filing a request to change a California child support order and want to avoid the high cost of attorney’s fees, contact A People’s Choice. Although we cannot give legal advice, A People’s Choice can help you prepare all required legal documents to change an existing child support order – or establish a new one – without having to hire a lawyer.