Making Changes When Change is Needed
Custody and child support modification in California is a hot topic. In some cases, it's necessary due to a change in circumstances of the parents or child. In other cases, it can be a way for one parent to reduce the amount of child support they owe due to various causes. Whatever the reason, it's important to understand how custody and child support modification works in California. In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of custody and child support modification as well as the steps you need to take if you want to file for modification.
A custody modification is a legal process whereby a custodial parent or guardian can petition the court to change the custody arrangement. A child support modification is a legal process by which a non-custodial parent can petition the court to modify their child support obligation.
In California, custody and child support modifications are governed by the same rules and procedures. The process begins with the filing of a petition with the court. The petition must state the grounds for modification and must be served on the other parent. The other parent then has an opportunity to respond to the petition.
If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the matter will go to trial. At trial, each party will have an opportunity to present evidence in support of their position. After hearing all of the evidence, the judge will make a decision on whether or not to modify custody or child support.
Circumstances That May Warrant Modification
There are some circumstances in which the court may find that a custody or support modification is warranted. These include, but are not limited to:
A change in custody arrangement that has been in place for more than one year
A substantial change in either parent's income or employment status
The child turning 18 years old (or 19 if they are still enrolled in high school full time)
The child getting married or joining the military
Either parent being convicted of a crime
Either parent being ordered to participate in drug or alcohol treatment programs
If you believe that any of these circumstances apply to your case, you may want to consider filing for a modification. It is important to note, however, that even if one of these circumstances does apply, the court may still deny your request for modification if it finds that the current arrangement is in the best interests of the child.
An Important Note
Even though you may have filed for a modification, the original custody or child support order is still in place until a judge grants your request. This means that if you are seeking an increase in child support, you will not receive any additional payments until the judge signs off on your modification. The same goes for custody - if you are requesting a change in custody arrangements, the original arrangement remains in place until the court approves your modification.
Work With an Attorney for Modification
If you are thinking about filing for custody or support modification in California, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your specific case and the chances of success. An attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence and prepare a strong argument in support of your position.
Contacting an attorney as soon as possible is important, so know that the team at Griffith, Young & Lass is here for you. We can assess your situation and help you determine the property course of action with regard to modifying a child custody or child support order.
Call us today at (858) 371-5569 to schedule a consultation. You can also visit our website to learn more information about modification in California or to schedule a consultation.