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Can Child Support Payments Change After a Divorce in San Diego?

On Behalf of | Aug 28, 2021 | Child Support

Can child support payments change after a divorce in San Diego?  The only constant in life is “change” and there are absolutely reasons for a Court to consider post-decree modifications to child support orders.

Before discussing the process to seek a change it is important to establish the fact that child support is an actual court order and the failure to maintain child support payments carries substantial consequences.  Life happens.  Substantial challenging events occur like the loss of a job or the impact of COVID-19 upon work and associated earnings.  What happens if there is a substantial change in the allocation of parenting time between the parties?  Will child support payments change after a divorce in San Diego if the payor or the recipient gets a substantial raise or even wins the lottery?

California Family Law requires both parents of a child to provide food, clothing, shelter, basic education and health care for the child.  Child support is based upon California’s child support guideline calculator, the financial status quo of the parties at the time of the divorce and any special needs of a child.

Either party may as the Court to reconsider the amount of child support to be paid after initial orders have been established.  However, the Court does not have the time or capacity to hear every case or evaluate every desired change in child support.  The only ways to make child support payments change after a divorce in San Diego are:

  1. The payor and recipient reach agreement on a new amount and submit the written agreement (along with substantiating financial documentation) to the Court for review and approval. It is important to note that just because the parties agree to a change no change in payment of child support obligations occurs unless and until the Court approves the desired change and associated agreement.
  2. The parties must establish that a substantial change in circumstances (change in the “status quo”) have occurred in order to be granted a modification hearing.

The party requesting the change must establish to the court that the income of either or both of the parties has substantially changed (generally more than 10%), the loss of a job, the needs of the child(ren) have changed, the payor is spending more custody and parenting time with the child than when the orders were issued or an incarceration has occurred.

Can child support payments change after a divorce in San Diego?  Yes, there are specific circumstances and a process which allow for post-decree modifications to child support requirements.  The best interest of the child will always be the primary concern of the Court.  Do you believe there has been a substantial change in the status quo?

Protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.