When a couple has a child and then chooses to separate, the non-custodial parent is legally obligated to pay child support to the custodial parent to ensure the financial well being of minor child until the child reaches the age of 18. People’s lives are not static; therefore, changes can occur. When the change affects the amount of child support that is needed or can be provided, then a request for change in child support payments may be needed. Child support modification lawyer Rick Banks can review your circumstances and help you with your child support modification request.

Reasons for Child Support Modification

The court will entertain requests for modification of child support payments in two situations:
  • The original child support arrangement failed to adhere to state or county child support guidelines and requirements, irrespective of the fact that the guidelines had changed since the original arrangement, the parties agreed to the arrangement outside of court, or that there was an error.
  • There is a “change in circumstances” that resulted in the insufficiency or damage of the original child support payments.

What Qualifies as a Change In Circumstances?

The person seeking an alternation of child support payments must show a significant “change in circumstances” that warrants modifying the child support order, such as the following:
  • Income change
  • Unemployment
  • One parent has a child from another relationship
  • Incarceration
  • Child’s needs changed (i.e., child care, education, healthcare)
  • Amount of time child spends with either parent
  • Change in any of the factors relied upon in deciding child support
If you have had, or anticipate having, a change in circumstances as listed above, it is crucial you seek a knowledgeable child support modification lawyer who can help you inform the appropriate family court as soon as possible, to have your child support modified. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to meet your child support obligation, do not refuse to pay. The consequences of failing to pay child support are severe. Changes to child support payments are not retroactive; rather, only future child support payments are subject to the modified child support order. Therefore, if possible, it is best to promptly begin the process of modifying child support prior to issues of meeting those payments arise.

How to Modify Your Child Support

One way to modify your child support payments is to sign an agreement with the other parent regarding the amount of the change, and then bring it to the court where the order can be formalized. If the other parent is not cooperative, then the court will need to hear the request for modification. Your child support modification lawyer can help you file a motion to modify your child support order. Information you may need to provide to the judge include the following:
  • Parent’s income and expenses
  • Child care expenses
  • Disability information, if applicable
  • Jail or prison status, if applicable
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Retirement income
  • Custody and visitation arrangements
If the modification order is granted after review of all material information, the change will be effective immediately, unless otherwise stated in the order.

Consequences of Non-Payment

Your child support modification lawyer will likely strongly advise against refusing to pay child support. California provides severe consequences of non-payment, such as the following, to name a few:
  • Warrant for your arrest
  • Incarceration
  • Wage garnishment
  • Frozen bank accounts
  • Denied tax refund
  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Suspension of professional license
Other ramifications include negative report affecting your credit score, as well as denial of employment opportunities.

Speak to a Seasoned Child Support Modification Lawyer

If you believe you have a significant change in circumstances necessitating a change in child support, contact a skilled child support modification lawyer at the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks at (559)222-4891 for assistance.
Categories: Child Support