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What Does It Take to Modify Child Support?

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Sometimes, sudden changes in our circumstances require us to request changes in court-mandated orders. Oftentimes, these shifts in circumstances are financial, whether it’s losing or landing a job, suffering an unexpected yet costly crisis, or getting incarcerated. When it comes to child support orders, though, there are a few other reasons that might spur a modification request: a noteworthy change in how much time the child spends with each parent or a change in the child’s needs which demand more or less money (e.g. healthcare, education, extracurricular activities, etc.).

Thankfully, parents who can reach an agreement on the changes to the order can draft it and hand it to the judge for his or her signature, which will put the new order into effect. However, one of the parents will need to file a modification request with the court if they cannot reach an agreement.

It’s important to note that new child support orders will not go into effect until it is signed by a judge. This means that even if the judge has received your new agreement, you’ll still pay the amount on the old one until the judge signs the new one.

In What Situations Can I Stop Paying Child Support?

In most cases, you’ll only pay child support until your child turns 18 years old. However, if your 18 year-old child is still in high school full-time, child support will end either when they turn 19 or when the graduate--whichever happens first.

Other scenarios where you can stop paying child support are when your child gets married or enters a domestic partnership, emancipates themselves, joins the military, or dies. A scenario that does not warrant a cessation of a child support order is the paying parent losing their job due to COVID-19.

Temporary Child Support Orders

You can file for a temporary child support order at any time during your divorce proceeding, although most couples choose to file at the outset. Just as is the case with long-term child support orders, the filing spouse must submit their income and monthly expense information when filing for a temporary child support order.

Couples are encouraged to settle on a temporary child support agreement themselves rather than in court. The guidelines for calculating temporary child support orders are the same as those for long-term child support orders.

Fortunately, there’s no time window in which you need to file your temporary child support order, but there is a time window in which you’ll need to respond. If not, you may lose custody or other court-ordered rights.

If you have any concerns regarding your child support order or other court orders related to your divorce, you’ll need a family law firm who can meet your needs. Fortunately, Anthoor Law group’s compassionate approach to guiding families through divorce proceedings have earned them their reputation as one of the leading family law firms in the Bay Area. To learn more about how we can help you, give us a call at 510-794-2887.

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