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Modifying Child Support Orders in California

by Law Offices of David M. Lederman
Mar 15, 2024
child support order

Child support orders are made to guarantee the children’s financial security after a divorce or legal separation. But circumstances might alter over time, necessitating a change in the child support decree. In California, parents have the opportunity to request revisions in response to a variety of circumstances, including changes in income, job loss, or a change in a child’s needs. Below, we’ll discuss the steps involved in changing child support orders in California and provide parents with guidance on how to handle this often complex and challenging process.

What You Need to Know About Modifying Child Support Orders in California

Step 1: Assessing the Need for Modification 

It’s critical to decide whether a modification is required before starting the modification procedure. California law allows adjustments to child support orders when there has been a major change in circumstances. Some examples include:

  • An adjustment may be necessary if one or both parents’ incomes significantly increase or drop.
  • A significant change in the child’s custody arrangements 
  • The child support order may need to be modified if the child’s medical or educational needs change.

Step 2: Gathering Required Documentation 

Once it is determined that it is necessary to modify your child support, you must  compile the appropriate evidence to back up the request. This evidence typically consists of your most recent pay stubs, bank statements, income tax returns, and any other documentation of changes in circumstances, including medical expenses or academic transcripts. Ensuring that all of the documentation is well-organized and accessible will speed up the process.

Step 3: Filing the Request

The parent requesting the adjustment must submit a formal request to the relevant California court in order to start the modification procedure. This can be done in the same court that issued the original order.

Step 4: Serving the Other Parent

The parent making the modification request must deliver a copy of the request and any supporting paperwork to the opposing parent after filing the request. This is normally done either through the use of certified mail with a return receipt or by enga