Parents who divorce have to settle matters of child custody and child support. Child support is a legally enforceable payment meant to provide for a child’s basic needs, such as food, housing, and clothing.
While child support is legally binding, arrangements are not meant to be permanent. Child support payments are generally only required until a child reaches the age of 18. Child support modifications may also be made if certain circumstances change. The child support attorneys at Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP can assist clients from the areas of Stockton, CA, and Walnut Creek, CA, in seeking modifications to child support arrangements, as necessary.
Eligibility for Child Support Modifications
Although child support payments are not meant to be permanent, they cannot change without a court order, and not everyone qualifies to request a child support modification. For the court to even consider a child support modification request, one or more of the following circumstances must be met:
- It has been three years or more since the child support payment was established or last modified
- The requested modification would change the current payment by a minimum of 20 percent, or at least $50
- The income of the noncustodial parent has either increased or decreased
- The noncustodial parent has become legally responsible for additional children
- The child’s economic needs have substantially changed
- The child custody arrangement has been altered
Depending on the specific circumstances of each situation, parents can request that child support payments be either increased or decreased.
How Do I Request a Modification?
Either parent has the right to request a child support modification. There are two ways to request a modification, either by asking the local child support agency to review the case or petitioning the court. If a parent opts to petition the court, he or she should work with a knowledgeable child support attorney, such as those at Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP.
In court, both parents are given the opportunity to present a case for why child support payments should or should not be modified. Any arguments should be supported by sufficient evidence. Our attorneys assist our Stockton clients in collecting the evidence that is necessary to prove that a change in child support payments is necessary.
How Long Does It Take for Child Support Modifications to Go Into Effect?
Child support modification requests are prioritized by the court, but it can still take some time for a court date to be scheduled, a judgment to be made, and modifications to go into effect. Prior to court, our attorneys need time to gather resources, documents, and evidence to support the modification request. However, if both parents are agreeable to the modification, it is a simple matter of getting the modification approved by the court, and the process goes much faster.
Discuss Your Modification with Our Attorneys
The child support attorneys at Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP would be happy to review your current child support order to determine if a modification is necessary. To discuss your situation in detail, reach out to our practice online or call (209) 477-8171 at your earliest convenience.