Parties can modify the amount of support either by stipulation or court order. A stipulation is an agreement signed by both parties that the court adopts as its own order. If the parties don’t agree to a change, a California child support order can only be changed by way of a noticed motion to modify and an order of the court. The court can change child support if there is a change of circumstances. (I.e., someone gets a pay raise or someone loses a job.)
Very importantly, if the parties agree to modify or stop the child support payments, they must get a court order either by stipulation or by noticed hearing to modify or terminate the support payments. Otherwise, the child support obligation will continue even if the parties agree to suspend payments. We’ve seen lots of folks think that they ended their support obligation by mutual agreement only to find that they had accrued a massive support arrearage with penalties and interest. The moral to the story? Get a court order.
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