In California, modifying a child custody order requires a proof of significant change in circumstances. However, like most rules in the legal field, this rule also comes with important exceptions. Here, I will discuss some of those exceptions. However, first I will discuss where the change in circumstances rule comes from and why it exists in child custody cases.
Reduce child support obligation
In California, child support orders may be modified at any time before termination of the payer’s duty to pay support. Thus, you can ask the court to reduce your child support obligation. This article will help you understand how you can ask the court to reduce your child support obligations.
Family code on reducing child support
Remember, to reduce your child support obligation you must show that there is a decreased need for child support or you are unable to pay child support because of increase in expenses or decrease in income. Thus, unless there was an error in child support calculation you must show the court that the circumstances have changed and a decrease in child support is justified.
Change of circumstances standard
To reduce the amount you need to pay you must prove to the court that there is a material change in circumstances that warrant a reduction. Material change means a significant change.
How can I show change of circumstance
As stated above payor’s inability to pay child support is a changed circumstance that may warrant a reduction. Additionally, a decrease in need in child support is another change in circumstance. For example, if you lost your job or got a pay cut you may satisfy the changed circumstance requirement. Similarly, if you actually spend more time with your child as envisioned previously you can argue that that there is a decrease need in child support since your child spends more time with you. So, as you can see, the specific facts of your case is important.
Agreement to reduce child support
Child support belongs to the child. So you won’t be able to agree to reduce your child support obligation without involving the family court. If the parents agree to a reduction, the court must approve the agreement. Otherwise, your obligation to pay support will not be waived. This means years down the road, you may be asked to pay that which you did not pay plus interest. Thus, make sure you do things properly.
To summarize, child support belongs to the child. To reduce your obligation to pay you must show the court that there is a changed of circumstance. If there is a valid order, your obligation to pay child support is not waived unless the court agrees to change the order.
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