child support judge

When you and your spouse got divorced, you agreed to a certain amount of child support to help with the ongoing costs of raising your children. While that initial agreement may have been the right one at the time of your divorce, it’s rare for it to fit your needs for years to come. As situations change and people switch careers or employers, the amount of child support you need to seek may change. 

Luckily, it’s possible to change the original child support agreement to better align with your current needs. Your trusted family law attorney in Valencia is here to help you understand how modifications work. Here’s what you need to know.

You Must Make Sure You Qualify

Before you can request a modification, you’ll need to make sure your situation qualifies for modification. Your family law attorney can review your financial information and that of your ex-spouse to determine if requesting a modification is a good idea. Some situations that can justify a request include the following:

  • Your income going down
  • Your ex-spouse’s income increasing
  • Your children needing more care
  • A change in visitation or custody arrangements

Keep in mind that every situation is different. The best thing you can do is work with your family law attorney to determine if modification is required.

You’ll Need to Fill Out the Necessary Paperwork

If modifying the original child support order is called for, you’ll need to fill out the required paperwork to request a hearing with the court. You can do this on your own, but it’s always easier if you work with an attorney to let them guide you through the process. This can reduce the risk of mistakes or missing information and can help you secure a hearing sooner.

The Court Will Make the Decision, Even if Parents Agree to the Change

While you can speak with your ex-spouse about your change in situation and the request for modification, you don’t have to and they don’t have to agree to the request. The final decision is up to the court. 

During the hearing, the court will review your case and the necessary financial information to determine if modifying the original agreement is called for. If they agree, they’ll issue a new order based on your current situation and the current needs of your children. Your ex-spouse will be required to meet the terms of the new child support order upon their next payment. 

If the court determines that your situation does not warrant a change in child support, the order you’re currently following will remain in place. This won’t prevent you from requesting a modification in the future, but it does mean you won’t see a change in child support at this time.

Hiring an Attorney Can Help

As with any change to the terms of your divorce, it’s always a good idea to work with an attorney if you need to modify either a custody agreement or a child support order. If you’re worried about your ability to meet your children’s needs with the amount of child support you’re currently receiving, contact the experienced family law attorneys in Valencia at Jackman Law.