In re Marriage of Alter, the father agreed to pay $4,000 per month in child support. He also signed the agreement with his former spouse, saying that the child support “shall be absolutely non-modifiable downward throughout the term that child support shall remain in effect.” But when something unexpected happened, he realized his payments needed modification.
Job loss, pay cuts, or a struggling business are all cause to ask the court for a re-calculation.
In this case, the father’s income was reduced by $4,000 each month, and the California Court of Appeals subsequently found that child support can still be modified in spite of the previous agreement because of the circumstances.
This means if your income goes down, you can request a decrease in child support payments, and vice versa if you receive payments. If your financial situation changes, seek an attorney’s advice on how to re-visit the child support issue. Job loss, pay cuts, or a struggling business are all cause to ask the court for a re-calculation.
Use our California Child Support Calculator to verify that you aren’t paying too much in support.
A family law attorney, such as the ones at Bohm Wildish & Matsen, can help you eliminate or reduce child support payments until you get back on your feet. Remember, you need to ask the court for assistance to prevent your child support payments from building up.
Your child support responsibility will only change under a court ruling. Verbal agreements are insufficient, and will not hold up in court. If you agree verbally to a change, the court can still hold you responsible for back child support, plus accrued interest. Protect yourself by filing the right paperwork with the court.