There are many reasons a person may want to have his or her child support obligation adjusted, but regardless of your motivations, there is a proper and improper way to go about it.
Especially when times get tough, it can be tempting to simply neglect payments, but the courts of California generally do not look favorably on this behavior.
The courts do, however, recognize many circumstances as legitimate grounds for modifying a child support order. No matter why you may want to change your child support order, taking the time and effort to file a modification through the proper channels is well worth the trouble for everyone involved.
You'll have to work it out with the other parent ahead of time
The Golden State requires modifications to child support to be worked out between parents of a child and then brought to a family court.
Realistically, this will mean some potentially difficult negotiations with a child's other parent. It is easy to see that having a powerful and experienced advocate in your corner to facilitate the fair and quick resolution of these interactions may be worth approximately its weight in gold.
Many things may qualify you for a modification
While most people are motivated to pursue a modification to child support obligations because their income declines, this is not the only reason that California might recognize a request to modify the order.
Perhaps you have become a parent to another child from another relationship. It is reasonable that you might request your order to reflect you increased parental responsibilities.
Maybe the needs of your child have changed and the level of support that you have been paying is no longer necessary - especially if your child support was tailored to care for specialized development needs that have become obsolete.
If you have changed careers and could use an adjustment to allow you some room to build your income back up in a new sector, then a modification may be a good option for you.
Whatever your circumstances may be, it is always better to properly seek a modification than to simply choose to change what you are paying.
Proper representation helps connect the dots
Regardless of why you may want to adjust your child support order, it is a process that is best approached with the guidance of an attorney who is experienced in the intricacies of California's family law system.
From helping you reach consensus with your child's parent in order to present a modification request to the court, to the preparation of a viable claim and the navigation of many potentially hazardous pitfalls along the way, qualified representation by experienced counsel will ensure that you present the best possible case for modification while protecting your rights.