Child support disputes may arise when circumstances change, either in the income of the parents or the needs of the child. Naturally, a request to alter child support is usually resisted by the other party. The paying parent does not want to be saddled with an unfairly high payment, and the recipient parent does not want to be shortchanged or stuck with added child care expenses that should be shared.
Whether you are paying or receiving child support, it is important to work with an experienced attorney who can protect your interests and your children’s interests under California law. The Law Offices of Teresa A. Beyers in Los Angeles represent either parent in child support modifications in the San Fernando Valley and throughout Los Angeles County.
Reasons for Child Support Modifications in Los Angeles
The reasons the original terms of a child support agreement may need to be modified can vary depending on a range of factors. The following are merely among the more common reasons for modifying child support agreements:
- Changes in income: Courts in Los Angeles and throughout California adhere to certain guidelines when calculating child support payments if two parents are unable to arrive at a satisfactory agreement on their own. When calculating child support payments, one of the most significant factors a judge will account for is the income of both parents. However, if a parent loses their job or otherwise loses a source of income and there is strong evidence to demonstrate they will not be able to find a new source of equal or greater income in the foreseeable future, it may be necessary to change the terms of a child support agreement.
- Health issues: Both the health of a child and the health of their parents may contribute to the need for child support modifications. For example, if one parent falls ill or is injured in a manner that prevents them from returning to work and earning the same income they once did, they might no longer be able to make the same child support payments that they had been making prior to their injury or illness. On the other hand, if a child becomes seriously ill, a custodial parent may request that child support terms be modified to help them adjust to the lifestyle changes and financial struggles they may now face.
- Changing needs: The main function of child support payments is to ensure that a child’s welfare is provided for. However, a child’s needs will change and develop as they grow. For instance, if the custodial parent of a young child works, attends school, or attends training sessions during the day to help them develop skills that will qualify them for certain jobs, the cost of daily child-care may be accounted for when child support payments are calculated. As a child grows older, there will come a time when child-care services are no longer necessary. That means child support payment amounts can be reduced accordingly.
- Incarceration: It’s possible a parent responsible for making child support payments will one day find themselves incarcerated or institutionalized for an extended period of time. This will naturally limit their ability to make child support payments according to the existing terms of their agreement. Thus, they can ask that modifications be made to account for these new circumstances.
- New relationships: Child support modifications may sometimes be made if a parent enters into a new relationship. For example, perhaps a custodial parent gets married and their new spouse contributes financially to the welfare of their children. Because the custodial parent no longer needs to rely solely on their own income and the child support payments they have been receiving to care for their children, the parent making said child support payments may not need to pay as much as was originally agreed to.
Again, these are just the most common examples. If you believe you might have another reason to request a child support modification, or your ex is requesting a modification for reasons that you suspect are not valid, discuss the topic with a qualified Los Angeles child support attorney. They’ll help you better understand these complicated matters.
Modifying Child Support: The Importance of Hiring an Attorney
Family law attorney Teresa Beyers is well versed in the DissoMaster software used by the state of California for calculating child support. However, the child support formula is only as good as the numbers that are plugged into it. It is important to have reliable information about income, and there may be other considerations in altering child support. That is where the practical knowledge and courtroom experience of our lawyer come into play.
Modifying child support requires a substantial change in circumstances:
- Support can be increased if the paying parent is making more money or if the child’s needs change. For example, the court may make parents share expenses for camps, sports, and activities and private school tuition.
- Support can be decreased if the paying parent has lost a job or received a pay cut, if the recipient parent is earning more, or if the amount of timesharing (visitation) changes.
Modifications are complicated if either parent is deliberately underemployed or if the paying parent has underreported income. If necessary, we can take steps to uncover hidden income or have the court impute income. We can also address disputes over private schools, college funding, and other child-rearing decisions that affect child support levels.
Contact The Law Offices Of Teresa A. Beyers
If you and the co-parent cannot agree on child support, Los Angeles child support modifications attorney Teresa Beyers is prepared to argue on your behalf in court.
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