Sometimes parents may realize they can no longer afford their child support payments. In this situation, they should ask for modifications.

People may need child support modifications for many reasons. According to the State of California, people can request a modification if they lose their job or experience a disability. Members of the military may need modifications if they get deployed. Incarceration is another reason to change these payments.

How to demonstrate a change of circumstances

To receive a new child support order, parents have to provide documentation of their financial situation. This includes their expenses and income. If people lost their job, they may need to submit information about their unemployment benefits. Parents with a disability may need to submit their medical insurance and disability benefits. The court uses all of this information to determine how much a parent’s circumstances changed and if a new child support order is necessary.

When to get a modification

After their circumstances change, many parents may wait a few weeks before speaking to the court. According to the Judicial Council of California, people should request a modification as soon as their financial situation changes. This is because a new child support order only affects future payments. If people earn less income for two months before requesting a modification, they cannot pay a new rate for those two months.

It is important for parents to remember that a new child support order may not always result in lower payments. Courts also consider the other parent’s financial situation, as well as the amount of time a parent spends with the children. Sometimes a court may evaluate the whole situation and determine that a parent has to pay more child support.