Child Support Modification in a Divorce, Paternity or Legal Separation in San Diego: 2014

WHAT DOES MODIFICATION MEAN IN A LEGAL SEPARATION, DIVORCE OR PATERNITY CASE IN SAN DIEGO?

Modification means to change an order. To change a child support order, the first analysis must be what the current order is. Before filing a motion for modifying an existing child support order, it is crucial to analyze whether the guideline child support amount would be higher or lower that the current order. It is not unheard of for a parent to file a motion to increase child support and, after the hearing, the amount of child support is decreased and not increased. No attorney can guarantee the results of any case however there is some certainty since the San Diego Superior Court uses the Disso Master Program for family law cases. As such, a careful review of the guideline factors as well as a current calculation of child support, will prove invaluable before filing a motion to modify. In addition, it is important to know what the monetary difference is between your current order and any modification. Even if your goal is to modify and increase child support [and the guideline is more than the current order] you may not want to spend the time and money on a modification if the difference per month is not significant [example would be $15 per month higher or $0.50 per day].

WHAT IS THE LEGAL STANDARD FOR MODIFICATION OF A CHILD SUPPORT ORDER WHETHER PRE JUDGMENT OR POST JUDGMENT?

For child support, whether your order is temporary or permanent, the standard is the same: a motion for guideline support does not require a change in circumstances as does a modification for, example, permanent spousal support. The procedure is the same whether permanent or temporary child support order and this is to file a motion called a Request for Order and include all the necessary mandatory pleadings and documents.

WHAT COURT HOUSE SHOULD YOU FILE YOUR MOTION FOR MODIFICATION IN SAN DIEGO SUPERIOR COURT?

It can be confusing since, in San Diego, there are two courts which make child support orders: Family Law Court and DCSS Court. DCSS court has “exclusive jurisdiction” over child support orders which means that, if your child support order is from a DCSS court, then you must file your motion for modification in DCSS court even if you have an open family law case. The DCSS court is currently only located at the court house at 220 West Broadway and may have the same case number as your family law case or may have a different case number. If your case is in family law court, and no DCSS order, then you can file your motion for modification in your normal family law department. Since retroactivity may be an issue, it is very important to file in the correct courthouse.

HOW CAN A LOCAL LAW FIRM HELP YOU WITH YOUR CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION?

The law office of Doppelt & Forney, APLC offers a confidential and free consultation up to 30 minutes. During this consultation, if your issue is a modification of child support, a calculation can be performed on the Disso Master and this way you can make the most informed and intelligent decision whether to proceed with the modification.

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