Child support is based off of standard formulas that take into account, mainly, the time each parent spends with the child or children, based off of the custody and timesharing agreements, and the parents’ net income.
Both these factors can change dramatically post-divorce and so there are procedures in place for changing, also called modifying, a child support order. If you are like many concerned parents, you want your child to enjoy the same privileges and benefits they had prior to the divorce. Children can be negatively affected by all the changes that come along with divorce and so the child support formula attempts to evenly distribute financial resources to both parents, according to the time they spend with the child, thus eliminating any potential for the child to favor spending time with one parent or the other.
Accordingly, when either parents’ income changes or the timesharing schedule shifts, the child support amount, in order to keep the financial resources evenly distributed, will change. Either parent can petition to have the child support award modified, but it their burden to demonstrate the significant change in circumstances that warrant such a modification. Your local child support services agency may also get involved in the action if they feel it is in the best interest of the child.
Common reasons for seeking a child support modification is one parent losing a job, moving away and thus spending less time with the child, a parent making more or less money due to a job or increased number of dependents or a stay at home parent getting a job. Child support can also be modified to include the costs to cover uninsured medical expenses, private school costs and sometime the cost of childcare. An important thing to keep in mind when considering a child support modification is that the modification must be in response to a change in circumstances unforeseeable at the time the order was first instated. A child support modification can either increase or reduce the support amount.
To modify a child support order, you can have a family law attorney experienced in post-judgment child support modifications evaluate your case and recommend a plan of action. First, recalculate what your new child support amount may be, taking into consideration the change in circumstances. You can use online child support calculators to give you a rough idea of what will happen to the child support amount. If you decide to seek a modification after seeing about how much the order amount will change, you or your attorney can either ask your local child support services agency or your local family law court to file for a modification. You will file a Request for Order (for modification of child support) as well as an updated financial statement or declaration to demonstrate the change in circumstances.
Are you in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills or the greater LA area and have questions about modifying child support? Certified Family Law Specialist Mark H. Karney has expertise in child support matters and experience handling complex divorce cases in Los Angeles County. Contact our us today to schedule a co-charge consultation to discuss your case. Contact us through our online form or call us at 310-622-9434.