March 20, 2013 By Paul Wallin

Do I Qualify to Modify My Existing Child Support Order?

In order for you to modify an existing child support order, there needs to be a substantial change in circumstances from the time that the original order was issued. For example, a court may lower your child support obligation if you have recently lost your job and are unable to pay the required amount. The court will not change or modify your child support order if it is against the child’s best interests.

What Is A Substantial Change in Circumstances?

There are many events that qualify as a substantial change in circumstances. The common ones include:

• The income of one or both parents has changed;
• A parent has lost his or her job;
• A parent has been incarcerated;
• A parent has another child from another relationship;
• There have been significant changes in how much time the child in the case spends with each parent;
• The child’s needs may have changed and there may be more (or less) costs for child care, health care, or education; and
• There have been changes in any of the factors that are used to calculate child support.

You need to contact an experienced Wallin & Klarich Family Law Attorney to help you determine if you have a substantial change in circumstances that can help you modify your existing child support order.

What Steps Do I Take to Modify My Child Support Order?

Here are the general steps you need to take in order to modify an existing child support order:
1. You must file a Request for Order Modification or a Notice of Motion with the court. Usually, you need to file your request or notice with the same court where your initial order was filed.
2. You should also file a memorandum that cites to the statutes and cases that support the reasons you want a modification of your child support order.
3. You must serve the documents on the opposing party. The opposing party can respond to the court and explain why your requested modifications should not be made.
4. A modification hearing will be held, where you and the opposing party can argue whether the child support order should be modified before the family law judge. If you originally requested the modification, you have the burden of proving that the modification is justified and appropriate.

Depending on your circumstances, the court procedure may vary. It is important that you contact an experienced Family Law Attorney who can help you fill out and file the appropriate paperwork and be by your side during the court hearing. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience and we understand the emotional toll family law matters can take. We have offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Victoville, West Covina, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks. Call us today at 1-888-749-7428. We will get through this together.

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