A court issues child support based upon the situations at the time of the order. A judge knows that situations change and that there may be a time when the circumstances of your life and your child’s life may be different. This is why courts allow for child support modification where you can have the court adjust the amount of support and other details about it to reflect the new situation in your life.
The California Courts explain that requesting a modification to child support is not a difficult process, but that you do need to make sure you have a valid reason to request a change.
Change in circumstances
You must have a change in circumstances to request a modification to a child support order from the court. A change could be losing a job, having a reduction in pay, the birth of a new child, changes in parenting time or changes in the needs of the child. A change in any factor that the court uses to calculate child support is a valid reason to ask for modification.
A judge’s signature
You do not have to go to court to get a modification. You can come to an agreement with the other parent and create an agreement on your own. However, the judge must sign it to make it an order. If you try to modify child support without getting the judge’s signature, it will not be legally valid and you will still be responsible for the child support payments under the current valid order.
No retroactive orders
One important thing to note about modifying child support is that any changes the judge orders are effective only from the time of the order. This means the judge will not go back to when the change occurred and apply the new order starting at that time. For this reason, you should apply for a modification as soon as you have a change in circumstances.