Modification of Child Support
In order to obtain a modification of child support, the court often requires that a material change in circumstances occur before a modification request will even be heard. A child support modification will typically require the party seeking the modification to introduce evidence of changed circumstances. “Changed circumstances” are circumstances determined on a case-by-case basis. However, the court has held that fluctuations in need or ability to pay are sufficient. Again, need and ability are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Sometimes a child support modification can be issued retroactively if there is good cause; meaning that if the support payment is in arrears (behind), the court may allow for the modified support to be applied “as of” the date the support order became modifiable. Whether there is good cause to deny retroactivity requires balancing the children’s needs at the time with then-existing ability of parents (both custodial and noncustodial) to provide child support. The primary focus is to ensure, if possible, that children actually receive fair, timely, and sufficient support.
Some courts will hear and adjudicate requests for child support modification and some courts will require that the department of child support services (DCSS) be involved. Typically, this happens when DCSS has already been involved with the case in one way or another. Whether you find yourself dealing with the courts or directly with DCSS, we can help.
It is important to speak with an experienced child support attorney. We have over 25 years of experience dealing with child support modifications and are very familiar with the department of child support services. To talk to an experienced child support attorney, please contact us today online or by telephone at 951-683-2297