Does a Change in Salary Justify Child Support Modification?

Pleasanton CA famiy lawOnce a child support order is finalized and put into motion, it becomes “locked in” unless the court decides to revisit the arrangement. Unfortunately, this means that the arrangement won’t necessarily be updated even if you or your family experience rapid changes in your lives. 

With today’s employment landscape, nothing is certain and it’s common for people to experience fluctuations in their salaries. Whether a parent continues to successfully climb the corporate ladder and grow their compensation package, or experiences a downturn and has to manage with a lot less income, these changes are sure to impact their ability to provide for their child.  

So what are the options for parents who find themselves in a different situation and want to ensure that this is accounted for in the child support order? Today’s post is a quick look at how one can implement a change in salary into the arrangement via the family law courts.

What Scenarios Account for a Change in Salary?

First, let’s define scenarios in which a parent might experience a substantial change in salary. These are some of the most common situations, though note that it is not an exhaustive list:

  • Starting a new job
  • Getting a promotion or substantial raise in salary at the current job
  • Termination or separation from employment
  • Relocation, deployment, incarceration, or any other scenario that disrupts a person’s ability or opportunity to work
  • Incapacitation, health issues, or disability which makes it difficult for a person to work
  • A significant change in income for any other reason 

Generally, the threshold for what is considered a substantial change in either direction is 10% more or less than the current salary or income.

Petitioning a Modification of Child Support to the CA Family Laws

In order for the courts to even consider a modification, this has to be requested or petitioned by one or both parents. Simply petitioning does not guarantee that the change will be approved however, as the petitioning parties need to bring proof of the change in salary. They must also demonstrate clearly that this change require a change to the support itself in order for all needs to be covered.

Failing to petition and get the modification can be time consuming and expensive. It’s important to show up prepared and with a strong case. It’s also key to remember that you need to follow all legal processes and fill out all forms correctly, as any mistakes can jeopardize your chances of having the modification of child support approved.

When it comes to modification of support in CA, it’s important to rely on an experienced attorney to help you explore your options and guide you through every step along the way.

Count on our skilled legal experts at White Oak Law to help you navigate modifications of child support or spousal support, or any other matter relating to family law including asset division, custody disputes, and more. Give us a call at 925-271-0999 today to learn more about how we can help.