Child Support Modifications Attorney in San Luis Obispo, CA
Life changes. What was previously enough now doesn’t suffice. You may find that your previous child support order can no longer support you and your children with recent life developments. In California, our child support modification attorneys have ways to modify child support so you can continue raising your child comfortably.
If unavoidable circumstances require a change to a child support order or if you feel that the order is unfair, our experienced San Luis Obispo family law attorneys can help you with that! Call us today to schedule a consultation.
What is a Child Support Modification?Child support covers the costs related to raising and taking care of children. The California Child Support Guideline provides a formula to calculate the child support amount. The government website offers a child support calculator, which you are free to use. It takes into account each parents’ time spent with the child, their income, and deductions. If circumstances change that affect these factors, you have the right to ask for a modification to the child support agreement. The modification may be permanent or temporary. You have to follow the proper legal processes to request a modification and get it approved by a judge. You have the right to represent yourself without an attorney. However, statistics show that your chances are significantly lower if you don’t get a skilled child support modification attorney to help you. A court-ordered modification is essential! A simple agreement with the other parent is informal and not legally binding. This can turn into a much bigger problem in the future than if you simply followed the procedure to request a modification. Get a court order and save yourself the trouble. Many factors affect the calculation of child support. If you have a family law concern, talk to our knowledgeable San Luis Obispo child support modification attorney if you need legal help. Call us today today to schedule a consultation.
Valid Reasons to Modify Your Child Support OrderYou cannot just petition to modify child support on a whim. The judges decide whether the developments in your life warrant a change in the amount of child support. Here are some examples of reasons that a judge will take into serious consideration:
- Changes in the child’s needs. This can include lifestyle changes from physical relocation, new health care needs, or new educational requirements.
- Changes in parenting time. Things like physical relocation shift the time a parent spends with a child. This can also shift the amount.
- Changes in either parent’s income. A significant decrease or increase in one parent’s income can affect their ability to pay child support, and sometimes even alimony.
- Employment changes for one parent. If either parent loses their job or gains an additional one, this can warrant a change in child support.
- One parent goes to jail. If either parent gets institutionalized for more than 90 days, then child support payments are automatically suspended for a brief period.
- Changes in family size. A new child can affect finances, which can affect the ability of one parent to commit to the current child support order.
- Military deployment. If one parent gets deployed to serve, there may be a change in the child support amount.
How to File Child Support Modifications
- Fill out the paperwork. You’ll need Form FL-300 (Request for Order) and either Form FL-150 or Form FL-155.
- Review the files. Talk to a professional child support attorney to check that your forms are properly filled and that you have sufficient documentation of the circumstantial change in your life.
- Submit the forms to the court clerk. Get two copies of all your forms, three if LCSA is involved. The court will then give you the court date.
- Serve the papers to the parties involved. Have another person over the age of 18 hand the paperwork to the other parent (and LCSA). You can also opt to serve it by mail. You have to serve the papers at least 16 days before the hearing. Add five more days if you’re mailing.
- Mediation. You and the other parent can work out an arrangement for the child support. If both parties agree, you can submit them to court for approval without needing a hearing.
- Attend the court hearing. If the other party does not agree to the change in terms, then you’ll have to go to the hearing. The judge will be the one to decide whether the request for modification is warranted. In general, the court grants the change if the change is less than 20% of the guideline formula amount or 50$ (whichever amount is less).