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When parties separate, there is often an order for spousal or child support. This will remain in effect usually until one of three things happens; 1) the spouse remarries or dies, 2) the support terminates on a certain date, or 3) the child reaches the age of eighteen.

However, there is a fourth situation that could alter support payments: a change in circumstances.

This fourth situation is whether there is a significant change in any of the factors that the judge considers when ordering support. There are generally a wide variety of factors that judges consider for what constitutes a change of circumstance. The party requesting a change of orders is the party responsible for proving the change in circumstances.

Some of the factors the court may reconsider in changing the amount of support includes:

  • Income Change: If either parent experiences a significant increase or decrease in income, it could impact their ability to pay child support or the amount they are obligated to pay. This could result from a job loss, promotion, demotion, change in employment status, or other factors affecting income.
  • Change in Custody Arrangements: A change in custody arrangements, such as a child moving between households or a change in the amount of time each parent spends with the child, could affect the amount of child support owed. The parent with primary custody may be entitled to receive more support if they are now responsible for a greater portion of the child’s expenses.
  • Changes in Child’s Needs: Significant changes in the child’s needs, such as medical expenses, educational costs, or extracurricular activities, could warrant a modification of child support payments to ensure that the child’s needs are adequately met.
  • Healthcare Costs: Changes in healthcare coverage, insurance premiums, or medical expenses for the child could impact child support calculations. For example, if one parent’s health insurance coverage changes, it may affect the amount of child support owed to cover healthcare costs.
  • Relocation: If one parent moves to a different area with a different cost of living, it could affect child support calculations. Changes in housing expenses, transportation costs, and other factors related to the relocation may be considered in modifying child support payments.
  • Legal Changes: Changes in state laws or guidelines governing child support calculations could affect the amount of child support owed. It’s essential to stay informed about any updates to child support laws that may impact your case.

If you find yourself in one or more of the above situations, you can request to modify your support payment based on a change of circumstances. Because the court is allowed to order guideline support under Family Code Section 4053 and 4320, if the changes in circumstance in your case are substantial enough to change the amount of guideline support, then the court may modify or terminate support altogether.

Requesting a modification of support requires the income and expenses of each party to be disclosed including insurance, retirement income, unemployment benefits, disability status, debts, assets, and any custody arrangements.

We recommend that you use an attorney well versed in fighting for changes of circumstances regarding spousal and child support. We have worked with countless cases to modify their support payments. Please contact us today to discuss your case.



Our attorneys at Minella Law Group are highly skilled and knowledgeable about the various federal, state, and local child support laws and can work with you through the entire process, as well as ensure that your court order is enforced. Call us at (619)537-6408 for a complimentary consultation.

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