Jump to Navigation

Modifying Child Support

When parents reside in different states or different countries, child support issues can become complicated. You need the help of a knowledgeable family law attorney. Contact our office for a consultation to discuss your interstate or international child support situation.

A California Lawyer Experienced in All Aspects of Child Support

If you are considering or facing divorce with children in Orange County or Los Angeles County, it may be essential for you to form realistic expectations and protect your rights on the issue of child support. Experienced, widely respected family law attorney Brenda McCune can help you achieve clarity on this matter and deal with all other aspects of your divorce, whether your case is relatively straightforward or extremely complex.

In addition to providing strong divorce representation, our Brea law firm takes action for people whose financial circumstances have changed substantially due to a job loss or other major event. You can contact us to talk through your likelihood of success in receiving a change in your child support order. We offer a free initial consultation.

Thank you for contacting Brenda McCune Attorney at Law. Your message has been sent.

Call us now

or use the form below.

Led by board-certified family law specialist Brenda McCune, our Brea, California firm is an excellent resource for people facing a full range of problems associated with divorce and its aftermath. We offer our clients honest, clear information about child support and other financial issues such as community property division.

We defend children's interests and help parents deal with difficult issues in communities ranging from Diamond Bar and Chino Hills, to Fullerton, Long Beach and Garden Grove, to Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana and Irvine — as well as nearby communities such as Yorba Linda, La Habra, La Mirada and Norco, California.

Modifying Child Support

Child support orders can be modified to meet changed needs in the parents' or child's life. Either parent can petition the court for a modification. The court will then determine whether there has been a significant and material change in circumstances either concerning the child's needs or the payor parent's ability to financially meet his or her obligations. Contact The Law Office of Brenda McCune in Brea, California to speak with a family law attorney about modifying a child support order.

Change in Employment

One type of change in circumstances that may warrant a modification of child support is the loss of a job. If the payor parent was fired or laid off, his or her support obligations may be temporarily lowered or stopped until the parent can find new employment.

However, if the parent elected to take a lower paying job, the court may be reluctant to modify the amount of child support. Parents with child support obligations who voluntarily leave high paying jobs for lower paying ones may be viewed suspiciously. If the change was not done in good faith, the court may believe the parent did it as a means to lower the support payments. In such a case, the court may decide to set the amount of child support according to the parent's earning capacity rather than actual income.

Conversely, if the payor parent accepts new employment with a higher salary, is awarded a bonus or receives other forms of increased compensation, the parent receiving the support payments may seek an increase in support.


Jurisdictions differ in their treatment of child support obligations when the payor parent remarries. In some jurisdictions, courts will reduce the amount of the payments when the parent remarries and has additional children. In these states, the courts consider the total support obligations to all of the children, and not just to the children from the prior marriage.

Other jurisdictions, however, will not lower support payments if the payor parent remarries and has additional children. These courts reason that the previous children should not be punished because the parent elected to take on more familial responsibility.

Other circumstances also may warrant a modification to a child support order, such as:

  • Disability of the parent or child
  • Heath expenses of the parent or child
  • Educational expenses
  • Temporary economic hardship of the parent
  • Increased cost of living

The parents cannot act independently to change the amount of child support. The parties must petition the court which will then determine whether the support order will be modified. Parents who decide to stop paying support or who pay less than required may be held in contempt of court or face other penalties. Even if a parent has lost his or her job and has no income, he or she must go to court to request a modification of the child support order.


To learn more about your state's laws regarding modifying a child support order, contact The Law Office of Brenda McCune in Brea, California today to speak with a knowledgeable family law attorney.

Copyright ©2009 FindLaw, a Thomson Business

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

Back to Main