Child Support Modification In California Family Law Court
Child support modification is something that can happen in the state of California if the court believes it is required. It is possible to adjust the amount of support ordered at the outset. It can be dropped or elevated based on a variety of criteria related to the child’s needs. The parents also have no influence on when or whether support modification occurs.
The court has the final authority in the matter & will execute the modification if the circumstances (of the non-custodial parent, the custodial parent, or the child) change. The amount of child support is determined using a formula known as the California Child Support Guideline. It’s an equation that determines the amount of child support. There are add-on amounts like visitation travel expenses and other expenses deemed “for the child,” which are considered in the child’s best interests.
Once the amount of support is set, changes in circumstances must be present for the California child support modification to take place. These are determined on a case-by-case basis because there are no set, specific guidelines on how significant any circumstance changes must be to warrant reviewing the case.
The California family law court can also base child support on a parent’s income potential rather than actual income. This sometimes causes a modification in cases where it’s believed the non-custodial parent is attempting to avoid paying child support or by earning below his or her ability. If the ability & potential to work for a certain income is there, the court can base child support on that amount, whether or not the parent is actually earning that income at the time.
There are very obvious cases where child support modification might be called for when the non-custodial parent spends more time with the child or becomes more physically responsible for the child. This could cause a lowering of the support amount since that parent has increased expenses involved with more care for the child, and the custodial parent has fewer expenses because the other parent has the child for more duration.
A non-custodial parent’s ability to pay could change, or the custodial parent’s financial situation could change. Neither of those situations ensures an automatic child support modification, but they are grounds for reviewing the amount to see if modification is necessary.
If the non-custodial parent’s income rises, the chances are that the support amount will rise as well. This is because the court believes that the child has a right to a share of each parent’s standard of living. When that increases for the obligor-the parent who pays support-it should increase for the child, as well.
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