Santa Barbara Child Support Modification
When a couple with children gets divorced, the Superior Court of California for the County of Santa Barbara will order the non-custodial parent to make child support payments. The amount and duration of payments depend on each party’s income, the needs of the child who is being supported, and other factors. However, if the paying parent’s circumstances change, the original child support plan may need to be modified accordingly.
Whether you need to increase or decrease child support payments in California, our Santa Barbara child support attorneys can help. If you can no longer afford to continue making payments at the current rate, it may be possible to have your payments reduced. Conversely, our attorneys can also assist if your childcare expenses have increased, and you now require additional support to continue providing the same level of care for your son or daughter.
To learn more about modifying child support in California, contact The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC at (805) 643-5555 for a free legal consultation. With offices conveniently located in downtown Santa Barbara just a block from the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, we serve Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, Guadalupe, Isla Vista, Lompoc, Mission Hills, Orcutt, Santa Maria, Sisquoc, Solvang, and other communities in the area.
Reasons to Modify Child Support in California
You may need to alter your child support arrangements if you have a change in life circumstances that impacts your finances. However, there are many reasons a person’s financial situation can change – and not all of those reasons are considered to be acceptable grounds for changing child support in Santa Barbara. In other words, your ability to alter your child support payments will depend heavily upon why you are requesting the change. Reasons a court might grant your request for increasing or decreasing child support include the following:
- Reasons for Decreasing Child Support
- You have a medical emergency.
- You lose your job due to layoffs or downsizing, and can no longer afford to continue making the payments you were once able to provide.
- Your child custody arrangement changes.
- Your ex-husband or ex-wife has an improvement in his or her financial circumstances, such as getting a raise or promotion.
- Your home is damaged or destroyed in a fire or natural disaster.
- Reasons for Increasing Child Support
- You lose your job due to layoffs or downsizing, and require additional support to compensate for the loss of income.
- Your child becomes disabled, gets seriously injured, or is diagnosed with an illness.
- Your child custody arrangement changes.
When you contact our law offices for your free consultation, we can discuss the circumstances that created your need for increased or decreased child support. Our attorneys are well-versed in the rules and procedures for modification of child support orders in Southern California, and can determine the best strategy for proceeding with your case.
How Do You Change or Cancel a Child Support Order in California?
Child support is not simply a payment you make each month, like a utility bill or a magazine subscription – it is a court order. Failure to comply with court orders can result in stiff penalties, potentially including jail time. If you simply stop paying child support as directed by the family court, you may be at risk of incarceration, fines, and other consequences that are extremely disruptive, unpleasant, embarrassing, and in many cases, expensive.
Not only will nonpayment of child support result in unwanted repercussions – it will also do nothing to address the underlying problem, which is that your child support payments are too expensive. In order for you to resolve this issue effectively – and to avoid incarceration or other negative outcomes – you will need to formally request a modification of child support from the court.
But what is the process for modifying child support in Santa Barbara County? What steps do you need to take in order to change or end a support order in California? A brief step-by-step overview is provided below.
- You must complete certain documents, such as Form FL-300 (Request for Order).
- You should review your documents with an attorney for accuracy.
- You must make at least two copies of your legal documents.
- You must file your legal forms with the court clerk.
- The court clerk will schedule a court date.
- A person who is at least 18 years old must serve a copy of your papers on your ex-wife or ex-husband. You may not serve the papers personally, but may serve the papers via mail.
- The person who served your former spouse must complete a document called a “Proof of Service.”
- You must file the Proof of Service form with the court.
- Your court hearing will take place, and the judge will make a decision about whether to grant or deny the requested increase or decrease in child support.
Our attorneys will handle this process for you. However, we like to make sure that our clients feel informed and involved in their own legal decisions. When you are represented by a child support increase lawyer or child support decrease lawyer from Bamieh & De Smeth, we will make ourselves available around the clock to answer any questions or discuss any concerns you might have concerning your case.
Santa Barbara Child Support Modification Attorneys Offering Free Consultations
If you have experienced a change in your financial circumstances, and your original child support plan is now creating financial hardship for you, speak with our family law attorneys about raising or lowering your child support payments. In a difficult economic climate where many parents are feeling the pressures of unemployment, medical bills, and other sources of financial hardship, it is very common for divorced mothers and fathers to change their original child support agreements.
Modifying your child support plan can help to lift a tremendous financial burden from your shoulders, but should not be attempted without legal guidance from an experienced lawyer for modifying child support. The rules and procedures pertaining to modification of court orders are extremely strict, and the slightest mistake or misinterpretation could have dire consequences for the outcome of your case.
Whether you need to increase the amount of child support you are receiving from your ex-husband or ex-wife, or need to decrease your child support payments to alleviate financial strain, the experienced family law lawyers at Bamieh & De Smeth can help. For a free consultation about modifying or canceling child support in California, contact our law offices at (805) 643-5555 today. We serve Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.