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Legal Affairs: Handling Child Support And The Modification Of Support Orders

By Maxine Boyer

Custody battles are a difficult time for families. These battles cause uncertainty and take place at a time when emotions run high. After these battles have been settled, many parents choose to put it behind them and not revisit the situation for fear of causing the emotions to resurface. This can be a mistake though, especially when there is a change in financial status or any other reason arises that could constitute a change in the court ruling.

Once a custody order has been made, it will be enforced until a modification of support orders is requested. Considering that parents are generally required to financially support their children until the children reach the age of majority or become self-supporting, custody orders will liking stand for many years unless a modification is requested. If a parent loses their job, or experiences a reduction in pay, it is his or her responsibility to seek a modification to reflect the change in financial status. Along with this, support will only change from the time the modification is approved. This means that if a parent experiences a pay reduction but waits 6 months to request the modification, the new order will only be applicable from the date of the request, not from the time of the pay reduction.

Parents can request a modification of support orders once the original support order has taken place. Consulting with Riverside family law can help determine when to request a support modification. Legal professionals are familiar with child support guidelines and enforcement laws and can help parents determine the best time for modification.


Both the parent receiving child support and the parent paying may request a modification of support orders. Parents receiving support may have the amount increased by effectively proving that the paying parent’s income has increased. This holds true especially if it is proven that the child’s needs are not being fully met or if they have special needs such as medical treatment. Furthermore, paying parents can decrease the amount of future support payments if they lose their job, experience a pay reduction or if they can prove the custodial parent’s income has increased.

Many factors exist in determining the income of parents during the modification of support orders. Guidelines can be complicated and vary between parents who are self-employed and those who aren’t. Riverside family law can help a great deal in sorting through these factors and guidelines and can alleviate the pressure parents may feel by trying to sort through the ordeal themselves. If a court approves a modification of support orders, parents that must pay child support will not be forgiven payments that have not been paid from the original support orders.

Divorced parents face a tough decision in deciding to move forward with a modification request. The original court battles are often hard enough and revisiting that situation can be difficult to face alone. These parents can benefit from the advice and involvement of Riverside family law who are familiar with these processes.

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