Modifying the Child Support Order

Boys at beach

When personal situations change, either parent can request that the child support order be modified. Child Support Services sends a modification packet requesting information about each parent's financial status and various other factors that affect child support. Child Support Services will then determine if asking the court for a modification is appropriate based on the financial and other information provided. In either case, notification will be made to both parents.  

If a modification is appropriate, both parents will be informed of the decision. DCSS will file the necessary papers with the court to set a court hearing unless the parents can agree to the support amount ahead of time. If an agreement is reached, a stipulation must be filed with the court. When the Commissioner signs the form, it becomes a court order. If an agreement is not reached ahead of time, the case will go to court and the Commissioner will decide the amount of support. At the court hearing, the amount of the child support order may be either increased or decreased, or the Commissioner may deny the motion to modify.

To request a modification review:

Until an order for child support is modified, the child support amount in the existing order must be paid. Contact us right away if there is a change in circumstances.

Parents also have the option of requesting a modification directly from the court. For more information about filing your own request for modification, contact the Office of the Family Law Facilitator.

For more information, please see the State of California's publications page