Child support is set at the time of divorce in California based on each parent’s income and the needs of the child. Of course, the needs of the child could change a lot in a few years. Income and living situations also can change over time.
Child support orders – as well as alimony payments – can be changed after the divorce is finalized. If your circumstances change, you can always request a family law modification from the court.
Why you would request changes to child support
In order for these requests to be taken seriously, there needs to be a legitimate reason. For example, you can ask for a reduction in child support payments if you have lost your job. You may also be able to ask for a reduction if other expenses in your life have increased, such as incurring healthcare costs incurred from treating a serious illness.
On the flip side, the parent receiving child support payments can request an increase for those same reasons. In addition, the parent with primary custody can request an increase on the basis that caring for the child has become more expensive.
The burden of proof
The court will ask the person requesting the change to provide proof that it is necessary. Receipts from daycare or extracurricular activities as well as paystubs may all be used to prove the modification is needed.
If the other parent does not want the court order to be modified, they will be allowed to state the reasons why. For example, child support payments cannot be increased if the parent has no wiggle room in their finances to pay the extra amount.
Child support modification requests should be taken very seriously. The court can deny modification requests at any point if they feel that the court order has been modified too much.