Unlike most orders in an Orange County divorce, such as those dealing with property, child support can change over time. All it takes is a material change in circumstances to enable you to go back to court to adjust the guideline child support figures. In this economy, for example, many people have lost their jobs. Many people would use that event as a reason to go back to court and change the support order. Other common reasons to change the support order is that the timeshares between the parties has changed significantly since the last order was made. The two main ingredients of a support calculation are the parties’ respective incomes and their respective timeshares. If one of the factors changes enough to change the guideline amount, then it may be time to go into court to request a modification of child support.
One common mistake that people make when they experience a material change in circumstance, such as losing their job, is that they make a verbal agreement with the other parent to accept less money. What happens if the other parent for one reason or another gets mad at you and later says you did not pay the amount ordered by the court? Guess what? You still owe the money….PLUS INTEREST! It is always a good idea to officially change the court-ordered support amount. If the other parent is actually in agreement with the change, you can write up a stipulation (or hire us to draft it for you), have the parties sign it, and submit it to the court. When the judge signs the stipulation and files it, then you have a new support order. In that way, you will not be unpleasantly surprised by the other parent going back on the deal.
If the other parent is not willing to agree to a different order, then you can get the judge to hear your request by filing an order to show cause. Again, this is one of the services that we offer. We can draft the paperwork for you.