Reasons to modify California child support payments

California child support is what a parent pays monthly to help cover the expenses of raising a child. A judge sets the amount based on California child support guidelines. However, there are viable reasons to request modifications to the amount assigned by the judge.


The parent with custody of the child might request child support modification if the parent who pays income increases. The parent might move into a higher-paying career, get a promotion or inherit a large sum of money.

A decrease in income can also lead to a request for child support modification. The parent who pays child support might retire, lose their job, get a demotion or go from full-time to part-time.

Either parent can request to modify the child support. If the parent who pays child support starts to earn less money, that particular parent might want to pay less. If the parent with custody loses income, that parent will likely request to receive more child support.


Depending on your state, you can request to have your child support modified if you go to prison. However, you might live where imprisonment makes you ineligible to request a modification. After receiving your sentence, you’ll need to request a review from the local child support office.


Childcare expenses can increase because of certain circumstances. For example, a child might need eyeglasses or braces. The child might start playing sports or participating in another activity that requires money. The parent with custody can request an increase in child support to help with these new obligations.

Child support is often a complicated issue. A parent might object or get angry when the other requests to modify child support payments. But as seen in the examples above, it’s sometimes necessary to request a modification.