A child support order is a legal obligation upheld by the court that forces the noncustodial parent to provide financial support that is used to cover the expenses of raising a child in the state of California. Child support orders can be issued after a divorce or after the birth of a child in various specific circumstances.

However, if you believe that the conditions of your child support order are unfair to you, or if you are unable to meet those conditions, you can request to modify your existing child support orders with the help of a modification and enforcement lawyer.

Whatever the case may be, child support payments are court-ordered, and the blatant refusal to pay these fees can accrue multiple legal infractions that can even lead up to possible jail time. Many civil courts take these matters seriously and will only grant alterations to an existing child support order under extenuating circumstances.


If a noncustodial parent has lost his or her job, they are obviously unable to make child support payments. While these individuals are still obligated to pay for child support, it’s possible for unemployed parents to request for changes or modify their existing child support order. Specifically, an unemployed individual can negotiate with the custodial parent on terms to lower or cease child support payments until the individual can find employment elsewhere. After this agreement, both parties can then sign an agreement to present to a judge in order to have the changes made.

In the event that both parties cannot come to an agreement, the unemployed party can request a judge to review the conditions of the existing child support order and make a decision based on their unemployment. If there is proof of unemployment, a judge may grant the changes temporarily until the individual can get their affairs in order.


In the event that a noncustodial parent is incarcerated for a lengthy period, they will have to go through the process that will allow them to properly seek changes to their existing child support order until they are released. If an individual will only be held in jail for a short period, they can notify the court to consider changing their child support order in an effort to accommodate their situation. They can also negotiate this issue with the custodial parent as well.

Sudden Decrease In Income

There are a variety of circumstances that constitute a “change in income.” More specifically, a change in income is a sudden change in the income situation of a specific individual. For example, if an individual that is obligated to pay child support undergoes a medical emergency and has to pay their medical bills and other medical expenses immediately, they can reasonably petition for changes in their child support order until they can get their affairs under control.

Nonetheless, this rule does apply to household income as well. For example, if there is a sudden dip in the household earnings of an individual, a feasible request can be made to decrease the amount of child support payments.

If you need to modify a child support order, it is best to speak with a skilled modification and enforcement attorney at once.