Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of California, and Board of Legal Specialization

Under state law, parents must support their children financially. Typically, the noncustodial parent pays the child’s primary guardian monthly support based on the state’s child support guidelines. However, circumstances often change, requiring a support adjustment.

If you believe your child needs increased support, a seasoned Simi Valley child support modification lawyer could petition for additional child support. Alternately, if you are the payor parent and can no longer meet your child support obligation, our compassionate child support attorney could present evidence to the court to support a decrease in the support amount.

Simi Valley’s Child Support Guidelines

California Family Code §3900 mandates that both parents support their children based on their respective financial circumstances. Judges use a complex formula called the Statewide Uniform Guidelines to determine the appropriate amount of child support. The guidelines factor in each parent’s income, their time with their child, and their respective tax brackets.

A knowledgeable attorney is familiar with the state’s child support guidelines and could modify support based on the case’s facts.

Changes in Circumstances Warranting Child Support Adjustments in Simi Valley

Revising a child support order, referred to as child support modification, occurs when a parent or a child experiences a change in their life that impacts their financial situation. Often, parents can agree to adjust support without involving the court. However, in some cases, they dispute whether a modification is warranted.

If the original child support amount is below the state’s mandated guidelines, a court can increase the support to comply with the statute. Simi Valley parents may also face other circumstances justifying reconsideration of child support, including:

  • A parent changes jobs and earns substantially more income
  • A parent loses a job, or their work hours are cut back
  • A child’s educational or medical needs increase
  • Daycare costs increase
  • A parent is incarcerated
  • A child’s custodial arrangement changes
  • A parent has another child
  • A parent is deployed to military service

Other circumstances could also justify increasing or decreasing child support. A parent considering a child support modification is well-advised to discuss their situation with a capable child support attorney in Simi Valley.

When Can a Parent Seek a Child Support Modification?

A party can ask a court to reconsider a child support order at any time after it is issued. However, the parent must demonstrate that the changed circumstance is substantial. For example, a minor decrease in income might not warrant a support adjustment.

If a parent or child’s circumstances change, and they need to pursue modification, they should do so as soon as possible. Under state law, a judge can order retroactive child support if the final order was delayed for some reason. Additionally, a judge could backdate a child support order if temporary child support was not awarded when the action commenced.

Generally, the retroactive payments can only cover the period between the filing of the modification petition and the date a judge hears the case. However, because a court cannot award retroactive support that exceeds three years, a parent who believes their child is entitled to modified support should consult an experienced Simi Valley lawyer.

Seek Help with Child Support Modification from a Qualified Simi Valley Attorney

If you are considering modifying child support, you need sound legal guidance to navigate the state’s complex child support laws. A trusted Simi Valley child support modification lawyer could advise you of your legal options and ensure that your modification request is timely filed. Our committed legal team has helped numerous parents, whether the payor or the payee, achieve appropriate child support orders in Simi Valley. Reach out today.

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