Law Offices of Steven A. Dinneen

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Modifying a child support obligation

Caring parents may wish to do their best to meet the needs of their children. Paying child support may strain someone’s finances, but the parent understands their responsibilities to a young one. Circumstances, however, could change, and even a caring parent might find it difficult to meet current support obligations. In such instances, filing a child support modification request in a California court may reflect the appropriate action.

Altering current child support amounts

When financial troubles arise, a parent might fall behind on child support payments. That may turn into a regrettable situation since collection action may occur, including the seizing of tax refunds. Not contacting the custodial parent and outright failure to pay support might also lead to trouble. Parents have faced arrest for non-payment of child support.

The non-custodial parent might avoid legal woes by requesting a modification to the existing order. A judge will review the submitted documents to support the lowering of monthly support obligations. As expected, the non-custodial parent will need to show just cause for the request.

Reasons for a child support modification

When a parent suffers from decreased income due to a job loss or other circumstances, the court may be willing to lower child support obligations. Someone suffering from a terrible illness might be unable to work and ends up struggling with excessive medical bills. A parent in this situation might have a valid excuse for the modification.

However, a parent who changes jobs to “pursue their passions” and accepts a pay cut might not receive sympathy from the court. The same could be true of someone not willing to cut unnecessary expenses in other areas of life. Without a compelling reason, the court could turn down the request.