One of the most important aspects of child custody cases is child support.
Child support is the amount of money the court orders a parent to pay every month in order to help pay for the support of the child and the child’s living expenses.
Parent’s rarely see eye to eye on what is deemed necessary to raise a child each month. Because of this, requests to modify child support orders is common.
Depending on the circumstances, the child support modification may be granted.
One common instance of this is when an ex spouse makes more money after a support amount is set by the court. In this article we cover the key points of requesting child support modifications in this and similar cases.
Calculating Child Support
The calculation for child support is a part of guidelines established by California law. It is based on each parent’s income and the amount of time each parent spends caring for the child.
Types of income used for the calculations, include:
Wages from a job
- Unemployment benefits
- Disability and workers’ compensation
- Social Security or pensions
The exact amount of child support will be set by the Court Commissioner or Family Law Judge. Basic child support does not include child care, medical bills unpaid by insurance, travel costs for visitation, education or other special needs. These costs can be covered by requests for additional child support orders.
Changing Child Support
It is possible to change existing child support orders in special cases where there is a significant change in circumstances.
Child support orders can be modified, if there is:
- A significant increase or decrease in either parent’s earnings.
- A change in custody or the amount of time the child spends with each parent.
- Military services or deployment.
Child support orders can be reviewed at the request of either parent. If one parent loses a job or begins earning more money, the support will not automatically be changed.
Changes to the child support order can only be made by creating a new order or a stipulation approved by the court. Requests for child support modifications must be made in writing, and must clearly state the reasons to increase or decrease the support amount.
Applying for Child Support Modification
You can ask your local child support agency to review your request for child support modification.
Alternatively, you can work with an Affordable Family Law Attorney offering unbundled legal services to develop your request. This is a relevant solution for those who don’t want to seek out the modification alone and would like the guidance of an attorney, but need an affordable option.
Any application for modification must include:
- Income and expenses
- Child care expenses
- Custody and visitation agreements
Coming to a Child Support Agreement
In some cases, both parents agree to a new support amount ahead of time. Parents who are in agreement can both sign a stipulation that is then filed with the court. Parents who are unable to come to an agreement, will be subject to court proceedings. A notice to appear in court will be sent and after a hearing or multiple hearings a judge will set the amount.
Establishing a Good Standard of Living For Your Child
Each parent has a duty to financially support his or her child. Ensuring that your child receives the support that he or she is entitled to by law is key for being able to provide for your child.
Work With An Affordable Child Support Attorney In Long Beach, CA
At Shoreline Legal Group LLP we can advise and assist you with completing required forms, computing support calculations, preparing a request for order for support or modification of support, and more. Serving Long Beach, Cerritos, Santa Ana, and Orange, CA as well as surrounding areas.