You can ask to increase or decrease your court-ordered child support amount. This process is called a modification.
If your circumstances change, such as:
You will be asked to provide information by your case manager or by an attorney so they can evaluate your case. After reviewing the information, the local child support agency will determine if a modification is needed, and if so, the amount of support. A modification may be justified if the support order would change by 20% or $50, whichever is less.
If you and the other party can agree to the new support amount ahead of time, you can sign a stipulation (agreement) that must be filed with the court. If there is no agreement you will receive a notice to appear in court for a hearing where a judge or commissioner will decide the amount.
You must continue to make payments while your modification request is being reviewed. If the commissioner orders the modification it will usually be effective from the date the Notice of Motion was filed.
The California Guideline Child Support Calculator is based on California Child Support Guidelines and can be used to estimate the amount of child support that may be ordered in your case. Click on the calculator image to use the CA Guideline Calculator.
The Court Commissioner or Family Law Judge has the final authority to determine the amount of a child support order. This calculator provides only an estimate and is not a guarantee of the amount of child support that will be ordered. Other factors may affect the amount of child support awarded.
If you have any questions about the child support guidelines, you should talk with a lawyer or contact a family law facilitator.