With the way that life is constantly changing for the better or worse, many divorcees worry that the conditions of their divorce order will be irrelevant or insufficient in the event of a future change. The good news is that nothing in the divorce settlement is restricting concerning support, especially when it comes to child support. The California divorce system understands that everyone experiences changes in financial situations and that needs may evolve over time. For this reason, there is a process by which one can request for a modification on a child support order.
Under the current system, either the custodial parent or the supporting parent may request a modification on child support conditions. The parents of the child can choose one from two ways to modify child support. The first way that they can do this is to mutually agree on the modification. If the two parents can agree on the new terms, the only administrative task required of them to make it final is to request that a judge approve the change.
The only exception to this is if the amount requested is far below the state's requirements for child support. In the event that it is, the parents may still have those terms agreed but will be required to give a reason as to the newly agreed-upon amount. Otherwise, most judges will approve the mutually agreed upon changes with little to no question.
Assuming that the modification is not necessarily agreed upon by both parents, the partner wishing to change the terms may ask the court to modify the support conditions. In this case, they will need to request a hearing with the court in which both parents will be asked to present their arguments for why the terms should be modified or not. The court will be looking for a solid reason to request a change in the child support and the parent desiring the modification will be required to show a substantial change in circumstances that warrants such a change.
The court will then determine, based upon the arguments of the parents, whether a change in child support is warranted and whether it should be a temporary change or a permanent one. Reasons that would be of merit to a court hearing arguments for a modification include:
Financial need due to temporary hardship on the part of the receiving parent
The paying parent's inability to pay because of illness, loss of work or temporary financial strain
One parent remarries and household income increases
One parent becomes permanently disabled
The child experiences changes in medical or financial conditions that increase needs significantly
These are just a few examples that would be valid to a court when considering a modification on child support. Although all cases heard are different, the court attempts to remain balanced and fair in its decisions. The priority for both parents should be the best interest of the child or children under discussion and that is the primary concern of the court as well.
When life brings you an unforeseen difficulty in finances or medical emergency, you can find relief in modifying your child support order. If you are wondering whether you have a valid case for requesting such a modification, contact a divorce attorney in Pasadena.
Having a legal professional assist you through the process and help you build a strong case will increase your chances of attaining the desired outcome. Call the Law Office of Fritzie Galliani, APC to learn more about the process of modifying a divorce order and how a Pasadena divorce lawyer from our firm can help you.