Our blog last week discussed what child support in California may cover and why it is necessary to adhere to the terms of the agreement. However, there are situations that may arise after your divorce that could make it necessary to decrease these payments. You may be able to modify the child support agreement for lower payments in situations that include:
- An illness or injury: If you suffer an injury or illness, the medical expenses could make your payments unaffordable. This is especially true if the health condition results in a permanent disability.
- Job loss or demotion: If you lose your job or are demoted at work, your income will almost certainly drop. You may need to lower your child support payments in such cases.
- Your child’s financial needs change: Your child’s health or education needs could change. For example, your child could require fewer education expenses. It may be possible to lower child support payment in such cases.
- Your former spouse’s financial needs change: If you are making payments to your former spouse and his or her income increases, then it may become necessary to seek a modification for lower payments.
- You have a new child: If you have or adopt a new child, then your child support may be reduced. You would need to have more money on hand to care for the new child.
- You spend more time with your child: If you spend more time with your child, then you could argue for a reduction in payments because you are directly paying for more of his or her expenses.
- The custodial parent is squandering the support payments: If your former spouse is not using the child support payments for the benefit of your child, then you may be able to argue for a reduction in payments.
These are only a few of many possible examples where it could be possible to modify your child support agreement. It is important to understand that even if you and your spouse agree to modify the payments, you must still receive approval from the court.
Should I Wait to Modify Child Support Payments?
If you or your former spouse’s financial needs change, then it is important to seek a modification as soon as possible. Future blogs will discuss what can happen if you do not make these payments. As attorneys with years of experience handling divorce cases, we can tell you the consequences are not pretty.
Our Santa Clara County divorce law firm can review your circumstances to help you determine whether you would qualify for a modification to your child support agreement. For further help on this issue, please call us at 408-296-4100 for a consultation.