As a parent, you want the best for your children. That includes financial stability and security, which is why it’s important to have an appropriate child support agreement in place. But life isn’t static, and over time circumstances can change that require adjustments to be made to existing agreements. If you are in this situation, then you may be wondering how to modify your child support agreement so that it better fits your family’s current needs.
At Gille Kay Law Group, P.C., we understand the importance of having a fair and updated child support agreement in place that meets the needs of both parents as well as their children. We are here to help guide you through the process of modifying your existing agreement so that all parties involved can benefit from its terms going forward.
Reasons for Modifying a Child Support Agreement
There are many reasons why a parent may want to change their child support agreement, but only certain reasons are considered legally valid in California, including:
- Changes in circumstances: If a parent has experienced a significant change in their financial or living situation, such as a job loss, family illness or death, or relocation, they may be entitled to modify their child support agreement.
- Change in family size: If the parent being paid child support has had another child, they may be entitled to modify their agreement in order to accommodate the additional financial burden.
- Changes to parenting time: If there has been a significant shift in custody or parenting time, this change may warrant a modification of child support.
- Changes in income: If the paying parent’s income has increased significantly since the original child support agreement was signed, legally they may be obligated to increase their payments accordingly to ensure that the financial needs of the child are met.
- Increase in expenses for the child: As children get older and require more care and resources, such as extra-curricular activities and medical care, parents can petition to have an increase in their child support payments to cover these additional costs.
- Unforeseen events: In certain cases, such as if there is an unforeseen event that affects either parent’s ability to pay (such as natural disasters), then both parties may need to modify their agreement temporarily until things can return to normalcy.
- Changes in lifestyle: In some cases, parents may need to modify their agreement if they have experienced changes in lifestyle that impact their finances and/or ability to provide for their children.
- Prison sentence: If the paying parent has been sentenced to prison, they may be able to ask for their child support payments to be reduced or suspended until they are released.
In any of these cases, it’s important that you consult with a qualified family law attorney before making any changes to your existing agreement. They can help guide you through the process and provide advice on how best to proceed to protect both your rights as well as those of your children.
The Process of Modifying a Child Support Agreement
If you are looking to modify your child support agreement, the process can be complex and overwhelming. That’s why it’s important for both parents to work together to come up with an agreement that is fair and that meets the needs of all parties involved. In general, if both parties agree on the proposed changes to their agreement, then they may submit these changes directly to the court for approval. If there is disagreement between the two parents over certain terms, then they may need to submit the proposed changes for review by a mediator or third-party arbitrator.
What Documentation Will Need to Be Submitted for Review?
The court will require some proof of a significant change in circumstances, including:
- Proof of a significant change in circumstances: This could include copies of job loss notices, medical bills for an illness or injury, death certificate, relocation papers, etc.
- Evidence of changes in family size: Copies of birth certificates and other documents to prove the existence of additional children in the home.
- Proof of income: Copies of recent tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, etc. to show any increase in income since the original agreement was signed.
- Documentation that accounts for increased expenses for the child: Receipts and other forms of proof that can demonstrate additional costs associated with providing care and resources for the child such as extra-curricular activities or medical care.
- Proof of unforeseen events: Copies of police reports, insurance documents related to natural disasters, etc., if applicable.
- Documents demonstrating changes in lifestyle: Court documents related to litigation costs or business permits/records if applicable.
- Proof of prison sentence: Court records and documentation from correctional facilities that show when sentencing began and when it is expected to end.
How Can an Experienced Family Lawyer Help with Modifying Child Support?
It can be intimidating to return to the negotiating table after a child support order is already in place. An experienced family law attorney can help you navigate the process of modifying your child support agreement and ensure that all parties involved are fairly represented.
At Gille Kay Law Group, P.C., we have extensive experience helping couples modify existing child support agreements. We understand how important it is for both parents and their children to have an up-to-date agreement that meets everyone’s needs. Our attorneys will work diligently to ensure a fair agreement is reached that protects the rights of all involved. We can help guide you through the process of modifying your agreement, ensure that all required documentation is submitted, and represent your interests in court.
We understand how important it is for your family’s financial security to have an updated child support agreement in place. We are here to help guide you through the process of modifying your existing agreement so that all parties involved benefit from its terms going forward.
Contact us online or call us at (626) 340-0955 to learn more about how we can help you modify your child support agreement.