Can I have my spousal and child support obligation recalculated based on my current income?

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2011

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Can I have my spousal and child support obligation recalculated based on my current income?

I am self-employed with a fluctuating income (and since the economic downturn, a declining income); During mediation, my former spouse insisted on an average of the last three years net income to calculate the amount of support I owed (two of those years being pre-economic downturn). Since the agreement took effect five months ago, my income has continued to be an average of $3,000 less per month than the amount we calculated the support agreement from. Am I able to get my support obligation recalculated based on a more current financial picture? If so, how would I initiate that process?

Asked on June 6, 2011 under Family Law, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Changed circumstances such as a change in income would be grounds for supporting a modification of child support and spousal support.

From the court clerk, you can obtain an Order to Show Cause (court form).  Check the appropriate boxes requesting a modification of child support and spousal support.  Attach a declaration under penalty of perjury setting forth the facts supporting your request for a modification of child support and spousal support.  The court also has declaration forms or you can write your own declaration and sign it under penalty of perjury.  File the Order to Show Cause, declaration and an attached proof of service with the court.  The court will set a date for a hearing on these issues when the Order to Show Cause is filed. 

As for the proof of service, you can obtain a court form or you can write your own.  The proof of service verifies the date of mailing to your ex.  If you write your own proof of service, it should say that you are over 18 and the attached documents (Order to Show Cause, Declaration) were sent via first class mail unless specified otherwise to ________ (name and address of your ex) on _____ (date).  You sign and date the proof of service under penalty of perjury at the bottom of the form.  The date of mailing should be the same date you sign the proof of service and the same date you file your documents with the court.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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