Must have a court order to modify child support
Parties can modify the amount of support either by stipulation or court order. A stipulation is an agreement that both parties sign. The court adopts the stipulation 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. This order can either be by stipulation or by noticed hearing. But an order it must be. 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.
Filing to modify child support
If you can’t agree to a modification of child support, you are allowed to seek a modification by noticed motion when there is a change of circumstances. You will need to file the following forms:
- Request for Order (FL-300) (See also Form FL-300-INFO, which is a helpful information sheet.)
- Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150)
- Your last 2 months’ paystubs or (if self-employed) a recent profit and loss statement
These forms can be confusing, so if you aren’t sure, see a lawyer.
Remember, when in doubt get legal advice.
Weber Dispute Resolution
can help you file your child support modification.
Give us a call at 858-410-0144 to talk about it.
Consider mediating your child support modification.
Sometimes filing a motion to modify child support can be very disruptive and lead to acrimony between otherwise reasonable co-parents. Rather than let frustration over child support questions ruin your co-parenting relationship, consider hiring a mediator to help with the modification.
Weber Dispute Resolution can help you negotiate your modification.
Usually, in only one or two sessions, we can help parents figure out child support. We’ll write it up so that it’s legal with the court. Of course, you can have your own independent attorney review before we file. Then, you can keep focusing on being great parents knowing that you handled things peacefully and respectfully. Give us a call at 858-410-0144 to get started!