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Standards for child support modification in California

Children and parents may face circumstantial changes in the years following a child support order.

Thankfully, California family court recognizes that certain changes require an adjustment and allows either parent to request a modification. If the requesting parent provides sufficient evidence to support a valid reason, the court will likely grant the change.

Reasons to ask for a child support modification

Most child support modification requests have a similar basis. One parent may have a significant change in financial status, such as getting laid off or fired from their job or getting a new job with better pay. If you or your ex-spouse have a significant change in income or family size, you may request a change in support. The same is true if the child custody agreement changes. For example, one parent may move out of state, changing the amount of time spent with the child, or one parent may go to jail or receive orders for military deployment. These are typically acceptable circumstances for a change in custody and support orders.

Proof needed to request a modification

The parent requesting a modification to support must provide sufficient evidence to support this request. Examples of claims you will need to prove include:

  • Prison or jail status
  • Military deployment status
  • Disability status
  • Change in childcare expenses
  • Change in income
  • Change in expenses
  • Unemployment status and benefits
  • Current custody arrangement

The fastest way to receive approval for child support modification is for both parents to agree on the change in writing before presenting it to the court.



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