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Previous poster has success in modifying child support

Your Question:
Thank you very much for your wise and impartial advice. I have two questions to ask:

1) We live in California, being unemployed, my current wife working, and after discussing things with you, I filed for child support modification, and prior going to court, my ex-wife agreed to the new CS. I am paying much lower amount.

Luckily I am starting a new job. How soon can she force me to up the child support again? Does she need to wait six months to establish a pattern?

2) We have joint custody of the child. The child used to live with her 70-30, but now she is staying with us and going to school. What is the definition of Non-custodial parent? Does that mean that I am the non-custodial parent since initally our daughter lived with her most of the time?

On a different note, FYI: My Ex was claiming that my wife's income accounts toward CS. After discussing the matter with you, and using the official Dissomaster (calculator) at the court, I noticed that the more she makes, due to the higher tax bracket, the less CS I would pay! It was an interesting execersize and set her straight for good! Thanks again for enabling me on that matter as well. I owe you lunch!

Custody and visitation problems? We can help. can help you win custody, change custody, or reduce child support. Recommended by mediators and therapists and used every day by thousands of parents and families worldwide.

My Answer:

Thanks for writing again.

Congrats on settling the matter, and on your new job! Background information on your situation is HERE.

In answer to your question, I don't think there's any set "rule" as to how long someone must wait before modifying child support. The only threshhold is a change of circumstance.

In your situation, it sounds like you have two factors that have an impact on a new child support figure.

1) You have a new job. As you'll be better off if the job is long-term, don't worry if she takes you back for a child support modification. It'd be a blessing to keep this job and have more income overall, right? Unless you show evidence that this is only temporary and comparable work is nearly impossible to find, the court will assume that you'll remain employed at this income.

2) De facto custody has changed. This means the "actual" custody being exercised. To protect your interest, start keeping a daily log of when the child is in each home (i.e., down to the hour). If you're actually at 50/50 (and have been for a while by the time you go back to court), you can argue it, and the judge is obligated by family code to estimate the time in each home... not simply what the most recent orders state. So, you'd enter your log into evidence, and it'd be up to her to dispute it.

So, you'll have two factors involved. One will increase child support, and one will decrease child support. Probably not an exact wash, but don't worry about anything until you get served with an OSC to Modify Child Support.

Take care,

This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

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