If you are headed for divorce and you have minor children with your spouse, a child support order will be an important aspect of your divorce. However, what a lot of parents don’t know is that child support orders are not only subject to change, but they are typically changed at least once, if not multiple times following a divorce.
Why are child support orders frequently changed? Because, over time people’s circumstances change. For instance, a father who is paying child support may lose his job or he may have to take a cut in pay. Or, a mother who is receiving child support may earn her bachelor’s degree and double her income.
Changes in Custody Can Affect Child Support
Child custody can affect child support orders as well. If a child for example, moves out of his mom’s house when he turns 15 because he misses his dad, or because he doesn’t get along with his mom’s new husband, then a child support modification would be necessary. Since the father becomes the custodial parent, the mother would switch roles with her former husband and she would start paying him child support.
When Can Child Support Orders Be Changed?
Generally, an existing child support order can be changed (modified) upwards or downwards under the following circumstances:
- Either parent experienced a significant increase in income.
- Either parent experienced a significant decrease income.
- There has been a change in how much time the child spends with each parent. In other words, there’s been a change in custody.
- There has been some other change that would affect the child support guideline.
If you are the paying parent and you become disabled, you lose your job, or you are incarcerated, the worst thing to do is nothing because your child support obligation will continue accruing and it is NOT retroactive. Instead, contact our firm as soon as possible and we’ll be able to tell you if the child support order is likely to be modified.
Until a child support order is modified, all unpaid child support plus interest will be owed. Once you owe 30 or more calendar days of support, the various licenses that you hold can be suspended, such as your driver license, business license, and recreational license among others – you want to avoid this headache!
To learn more about modifying a child support order in Orange County, contact Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP today!