Modifying a Child Custody, Visitation, or Child Support Order in Orange County California
How do I change my child's custody, visitation and support orders in Orange County?: When two parents in California share a child, but are not married or in a registered domestic partnership, they may need to have child custody and visitation order, and a child support order in place. Each of these orders is originally made based on several factors, including the best interest of the child. However, the needs of both the parents and the child can change, either due to the child growing up or to circumstantial changes like relocating, or job loss.
When an existing child support, child visitation or child custody order is no longer appropriate for the child and the family, the order can be modified to fit the current circumstances. Usually, child custody and visitation orders will need to be modified at least every two to three years. A child support order usually lasts until the child graduates from high school and is financially independent, but can end or be modified prior to that date.
Modification of a Child Custody or Visitation Order in the OC
There are several reasons that a parent might want to modify a child custody order in California. As children get older, they may have different needs, interests, activities and obligations. Parents grow too, and may need to relocate, get a new job, get married, have another child, or have other obligations that affect the custody order.
Due to these common life changes, a child custody and visitation order may need to be reevaluated as much as every two to three years. There are several ways to modify a custody order, and several reasons that it can be done.
How to Modify a Custody Order
If the parents are on good terms, they can discuss the need for a change, and create a custody agreement to submit to the judge for approval. Usually in California, if the parents cannot agree, they will be required to meet with a custody mediator. Custody mediation is intended to open the lines of communication and encourage the parents to come to a mutual agreement on the custody revision.
If the parents do not agree on a modification, one parent can file a modification request with the court. In order to modify the custody order, the parent must meet certain criteria.
• Prove that there has been a change in circumstances in the time since the last custody order was signed. The change in circumstances must be significant enough to show that the current order is no longer in the best interest of the child.
• The court order will only be changed so that it is in the best interest of the child. The same criteria that were used to set the original order will be used to determine the terms of the new child custody and visitation order.
Common reasons to modify a child custody order that also constitute an appropriate change in circumstances include the following:
• The child is at least 14 years old and prefers that the order be changed;
• One parent has moved and the parents live closer to one another;
• The non custodial parent has moved and they now live farther from the child;
• One parent’s work schedule has changed;
• There is an obvious lack of care on the part of one parent, for example, the parent does not get the child to school on time, or has developed substance abuse issues;
Modification of a Child Support Order in the OC
Child support exists so that both parents can be legally held responsible for the financial support of the child they share. The right of the child to be financially supported needs to be protected until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is later. As a child grows up, his or her financial needs can change based on a variety of factors, from interests and activities to medical needs. A parent’s financial resources can also change due to job loss, financial obligations, or other disasters.
Due to these life changes, it is possible to modify a child support order, should the need arise. However, a parent is legally responsible to pay child support in the amount stated in the order until the order has been modified, so it is always important to act quickly. Child support orders cannot be retroactively modified, and late or partial child support payments in California do accrue interest at a rate of 10 percent annually.
How to Modify a Child Support Order in Southern California
Similarly to modifying a child custody order, in order to legally modify a child support order in California, the parent must show that there has been a change in circumstances since the current child support order went into effect, with one exception.
The exception to the change in circumstances rule is if the judge ordered that the child support was below the amount calculated by the California child support guidelines, the parents can ask the judge to increase the amount at any time.
Common reasons to modify a child support order that also constitute an appropriate change in circumstances include the following:
• Either parent has lost or gained a significant amount of income;
• Either parent has lost his or her job;
• Either parent is incarcerated;
• Either parent has another child in another relationship;
• The child custody order has been modified, or the child spends significantly more or less time with either parent;
• The child has more or less need for financial support, regarding medical bills, activities, education, etc;
• The factors used to calculate child support initially still apply, and if any of these yield different results, the child support order may be modified.
Contact a Family Lawyer to Modify Your Court Orders in Orange County and learn, "how do I change my child's custody"
If you have concerns related to your child custody, visitation, or child support order, it is always important to discuss these concerns with a skilled family law attorney. At Yanez & Associates, our compassionate attorneys have experience to help modify your custody and child support orders, and we care to make sure that the most current version of these court orders is always in the best interest of your child. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation, and tell us about your family situation.
Table of Contents
- 1 Modifying a Child Custody, Visitation, or Child Support Order in Orange County California
- 2 Modification of a Child Custody or Visitation Order in the OC
- 3 How to Modify a Custody Order
- 4 Modification of a Child Support Order in the OC
- 5 How to Modify a Child Support Order in Southern California
- 6 Contact a Family Lawyer to Modify Your Court Orders in Orange County and learn, "how do I change my child's custody"