When courts issue a child support payments order, it is considered final. That does not mean the amount of these support payments cannot be changed. With the help of a skilled child support attorney, you could petition the court to change your payment obligation.
Judges do not alter child support orders on a whim. Instead, you must establish that your change of circumstances requires a modification, as what you or the other parent are currently paying is no longer reasonable and fair. A Ventura County child support modification lawyer could help you do just that.
There must be a valid reason for the court to agree to alter the amount of a child support award. This is true both for requests to increase or decrease the amount. Some of the factors a child support modification lawyer in Ventura County might consider a material change in circumstances include:
A parent is under no obligation to wait a specific amount of time following a divorce or other final order before they can seek a change. Ultimately, it is the change in circumstances itself that matters the most. If a parent loses their job or becomes ill shortly after a child support order is issued by the court, they could seek a modification of their obligation each month.
Seeking a modification should be done as soon as possible following a material change in a parent’s life because the courts may not retroactively alter a support obligation. The longer a person waits to request a modification, the further they could fall behind on their payments.
The process for requesting a modification of a child support order is relatively short, but it is vital that every step is taken carefully. Making a mistake in the initial forms could cause delays or a denial from the judge.
A parent and their Ventura County attorney should start the child support modification process by filling out a Request for Order form. This formally requests the issuance of an order to alter the original child support order. A parent must submit an income expense declaration form, as well. Once qualified counsel reviews these forms and makes copies, they can then submit them to the court.
A parent typically must pay a filing fee to the court clerk, who will then schedule a court date for the hearing. It is the filer’s responsibility to ensure the other parent is served with a copy of the forms. Once service is completed, both parties and their legal counsel then attend the court date, where a judge determines if modification of the child support obligation is necessary.
Modifying an existing child support order is possible, but the success of these efforts is never guaranteed. Fortunately, the right attorney could improve your chances of a favorable outcome during a child support modification hearing.
Let a Ventura County child support modification lawyer serve as your advocate throughout this process. Call now for your private consultation.