What is the legal requirement to modify a Ca child support order? It depends on whether the prior order was the detrmination of a Ca Guideline Support order or whether it was a non-guideline agreement of the parties. All support orders, even those based on the agreement of the parties, are modifiable proseptively, except for spousal support orders that the parties have previously agreed may not be modified. (See Ca FC 3651). However, to change a Ca Guideline child support order, the party requesting the modification must show a substantial change in circumstances for the order to be modified. This typically involves a showing of a +/- 5% change in income prior to the court modifying the previous order. For example, H is paying a guideline child support amount of $300/ per month for one child. H gets a $.25/hr raise at work and W requests that the court modify his prior support obligation. It is likely that this raise would be deemed as not to amount to a substantial change in circumstances.
The second category of modifications is when the parties agree to either a certain amount of support or no support. These types of agreements are refered to as non-guideline support orders. These may be modified at any time and there is no requirement to show a substantial change in circumstance to modify the order. For example, H & W are contemplating reconciling with each other but would like to have a $0 child support order and W is instead relying on H's promise to pay her expenses as they arise. Shortly after the agreement is entered into, H suddenly stops paying W's expenses. W need not show a change in circumstances (H's income) to bring her request to modify child support.
At the Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, we will ensure that whatever child support agreement that you enter into will be based on Ca child support laws and will have the intended affect that you need it to have. Don't bargain away a community property asset or some assume a community obligation on the promise of no child support without talking to me first. Call me today to set up a free consultation with a trustworty Covina Family Law Attorney.