One of the worst things about divorce is losing custody of your children. It can be heartbreaking to be relegated to spending only certain evenings, holidays, and alternating weekends with your children.
Combine that with the requirement for regular child support payments, and you can have a very frustrating situation. Many times, however, child support can be modified, based on changes in your life and the lives of your children. With the help of an experienced family law attorney, it is often possible to have your child support amounts adjusted by the family courts.
California expects non-custodial parents to meet their child support obligations
The state of California uses a formulaic calculator to determine the amount of child support owed by the non-custodial parent. While the intent is fairness, many times a formula fails to work for those who have higher assets or big salaries (and the big expenses that go with maintaining that lifestyle). While it can be tempting to simply stop paying or to start sending partial payments, it’s critical for your own future and the well being of your children that you pay support in the full amount ordered. Failing to do so could result in your wages being garnished or even in your arrest!
Child support orders can be modified with the right evidence
Under California law, child support can be modified, depending on the specific facts of the case. The parent requesting the change must show that there has been a change in circumstances that require a modification to child support orders. According to the California Courts, some of these changes could include:
- Change in one or both parents’ income
- One parent’s job loss or imprisonment
- A change in the child’s needs, such as health care, education or child care costs
- The child custody arrangement has changed and one parent is spending more time with the children
Informal child support modifications can be problematic, as a judge needs to approve child support modifications. If parents informally agree to modify child support but do not have judge approval, this could create serious problems in the future if parents later disagree on support.
An experienced divorce attorney is a wise investment
Retaining the services of an experienced divorce attorney may be one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself, your financial future, and your happiness during a divorce. From helping you negotiate a favorable child support agreement to helping you adjust your court ordered support amounts, an experienced divorce attorney can help protect your interests during and after a divorce.
The greater the amount of assets and the higher your income, the more important it is to legally protect yourself during the dissolution of your marriage. By retaining the services of an experienced divorce attorney, you are being proactive about protecting your future and ensuring the outcome of the divorce is fair to everyone involved.