Child support is a legal obligation that a parent has to their child. In California, parents can be ordered to pa child support when the go through divorces, separations, or paternity actions. The amount of money that they are required to pay in support of their kids can vary based on their individual factors, but the state courts follow statutory guidelines to establish baseline child support payments for families across the state.
Over time, though, a family may find that their child support order does not work for their situation. This post will briefly discuss how and when a parent may seek to change an existing child support order. Readers are encouraged to use this information to start conversations with their trusted family law attorneys and are reminded that this post contains no legal advice.
The financial circumstances of the parent
One of the main reasons that parents seek to modify child support agreements is their own financial circumstances. A parent who once earned a high income may be hard pressed to maintain their high level of support to their child if they are laid off or forced to take a lower paying job. A parent who suffers a disability or illness that renders them unable to work may face financial hardships that extend far beyond their obligations to their child.
In such a situation, a parent may work with their family law attorney to begin the modification process. There is little incentive for a parent to wait to begin this process as they may face penalties and sanctions for falling behind on their child support. The sooner they begin the process of seeking a modification, the better.
The needs of the supported child
Just as parents can experience changes in their lives, kids too can go through experiences that change how and what forms of support they need from their parents. A parent can suffer an injury or illness, but so too can a child. A parent whose child requires additional care, new educational experiences, or extensive medical work may be asked to increase their support amount to accommodate the child’s new and altered needs.
Family law matters like child support modifications can be complicated. There is no reason for Los Angeles families to face them alone. All concerns about divorce and related topics like child support can be discussed with supportive family law attorneys.