When a court issues an order for child support, it is considered final. That label is misleading, however, as the court retains the power to change the order if needed, but there are mandatory requirements a seasoned child support attorney must first. This is true for both raising or lowering the monthly amount to be paid.
If the circumstances in your life have changed in a material way, you could be entitled to a modification of your child support obligation. The same is true if factors in the other parent’s life have changed, as well. Regardless, an Agoura Hills child support modification lawyer could advise you on your right to request changes to the final order in your case.
There is no strict time limit on when a party can seek a modification of a child support order. In fact, there is nothing in the law that prevents a parent from seeking modification of a child support order immediately after the order is issued, although it would be rare in these cases for the modification to be granted. Ultimately, a parent seeking modification must establish a significant “change in circumstances” that requires the alteration of the current order.
A motion to modify the existing order could seek to increase or decrease the amount paid each month. Alternatively, a modification order could also eliminate child support obligations entirely. Some common grounds for modifying child support obligations include:
One of the most common grounds for modifying child support obligations involves shifts in primary custody. Child support is intended to provide for a child while they are in the primary custody of another parent, and as a parent’s custody rights grow, the expenses related to the child likely grow as well. That parent could offset these expenses by petitioning for a reduction in child support.
A sudden change in a parent’s employment could also be grounds for a modification of child support. While the loss of employment could be grounds for reduced child support, an increase in pay could lead to a greater obligation.
An incarcerated parent likely faces an immediate reduction in their income for the time they are behind bars. This could be viable grounds for a child support order modification.
A skilled child support modification lawyer in Agoura Hills could help a parent facing any of these or other circumstances that require a change to their current order.
Not all modifications to a child support order are hotly contested. In some cases, both parents will acknowledge circumstances have changed and that a modification is in order. One benefit of working with a child support modification attorney in Agoura Hills is the possibility of negotiating a stipulated child support modification to the benefit of everyone involved.
The court is not obligated to modify a child support order even if both parties are in agreement. However, a signed stipulation executed by both parents is generally more likely to be granted than a contested request.
If the circumstances in your life or the life of your co-parent have changed, the modification of your child support obligation could be in order, and the right attorney could assist you with pursuing your motion for modification.
With the help of an Agoura Hills child support modification lawyer, you could confirm you receive fair treatment during the child support process. Call now to learn more.
Hoffer Family Law Firm