In California, it may be possible to change a child support order if there is cause to do so. In the event that a support order was below the state guideline, there is no need to show cause prior to asking for the order to be changed. This is true even if the support order was agreed to by the parents outside of court.
It may also be possible to modify a child support order if the income of one of the parents has changed or the amount of time that a child spends with a parent has changed. Additionally, if a parent has been incarcerated or has another child in another relationship, a child support order may be subject to modification. Finally, support orders can be changed if the needs of the child have changed or any other factors used to calculate support have changed.
The parents may agree to the changes on their own or get a modification order from a judge. Regardless of how the child support order is changed, the current support order remains in effect until the new order is approved by a judge. Therefore, it is always better to get any changes put into writing, as a verbal agreement may or may not stand up in court.
Parents who are looking to adjust their child support agreement may wish to hire a family law attorney. An attorney may be able to review the current order along with any changes in circumstance since the order was made to determine if there is reason to have the order changed. If there is a good reason to modify the order, it may be possible for an attorney to provide assistance in court or during mediation sessions between the parents.