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How do I get a child support modification?

When a couple gets divorced and children are involved, both spouses, along with the court and attorneys, hammer out a child support arrangement. Both parents are obligated to abide by it or face penalties from the state of California. But the years after a divorce are typically filled with changes in lifestyle ? a spouse could lose a job, go through a debilitating injury or, on the flip side, one spouse could get a significant raise at work, enabling him or her to give more support.

Thankfully, these agreements aren?t set in stone. If you or your spouse experience a major life change, you can arrange for a child support modification. Whether it?s to lower payments or ask for higher payments, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success:

  • As soon as you realize that the situation has changed, act as quickly as possible. You will owe every penny and bankruptcy can?t erase support payments, so the faster you file, the better.
  • First, approach the other parent and see if you can reach an amicable agreement. Explain the situation without hostility and see if there?s any flexibility.
  • Make your absolute best effort to pay. Showing the court that you are trying your hardest will only work in your favor ? and it?s the right thing to do.
  • Document everything. Whether it?s a job loss, a pay reduction or a medical issue, make sure to keep records of everything.

Making an error in filing could wind up costing you in the long run, so it may be advantageous to talk to an attorney who can discuss your options with you.

Source:, "Child Support Modification Tips," retrieved May 9, 2015

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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