California Child Support Modification : Stipulation To Modify Child Support

California Child Support Modification : Stipulation To Modify Child Support

This article and video discusses child support modification in California. The topics covered are:

  1. What a stipulation of child support is
  2. What a modification of child support is
  3. Easiest way to modify child support
  4. Modifying Income Withholding Order
  5. Costs of Modifying child support via agreement
  6. How long the process of modifying child support takes

Below is the video and transcript.

Hi, Tim Blankenship here with and in this video, we’re talking about modifying child support and the easiest way of going about that.

I had a call yesterday, someone wanted me to run some numbers and by the way what we do is we take a look at the income of the parties, of the timeshare between the children and then punch in the income of the parties to determine what child support would look like and this is based on the court’s DissoMaster software, which we utilize.

So I got call and he said Tim I want to look at modifying the child support, we simply plugged in the information into the DissoMaster calculation and got the new number and it’s easy when the parties agree to modify child support and we talk to all of our clients about this, once we do have a current order, say the divorce is final, if they ever want to change the amount or see if the amount has changed.

I just need to know the income so I can run the report and see if it needs to be modified and the easiest way to modify it is through a stipulation.

A stipulation just means agreement and all I do is draft a 3 to 4 page written document that basically modifies the current order for support and indicates how much it will be, on what date it will be changed and for what children it’s in regards too.

It’s pretty straightforward, it takes me just a hour or so to prepare the document, there’s no court involved, there is just a 20 dollar court filing fee, to file it with the court and it usually takes a couple of weeks to get that filed and if you have an attached income withholding order to your child support.

We would also need to prepare either a termination order or an amended income withholding order so we can get both the stipulation signed by the judge as well as the income withholding order, changing the amount so we can get that to your employer if money is being taken out directly of your check, we can do that all simultaneously.

So, Tim Blankenship give me a call if you have any questions, need help with your divorce in California. Thanks so much for watching.

Stipulating (Agreeing) Vs. Litigating California Divorce Matters

The word stipulate means “to agree” to something.  I get lots of calls where people want to modify, change, or create new orders related to their divorce both during the divorce proceeding or years after their divorce has been finalized.

There is a misconception that in order to have these orders changed that you have to go to court and see the judge.  This is not true and would be best explained with an example.

I had a guy call this week that said he wanted to file a motion to go to court so he could reduce his child support.  His income had gone down, while his former spouse’s had gone up.  His change in circumstances warranted making a change to the child support.

He was calling us because he had contacted an attorney who wanted $4,500 to file the motion and represent him for this action.  When he spoke with me, the first thing I asked him is if his spouse would agree to make the changes without having to go to court.

I told him that in cases where the numbers don’t lie, such as in this case using a dissomaster calculation (what the court’s use to calculate support) it is worth a shot to contact his former spouse and just explain it to her cordially to see if they can come to an agreement without having to go to court.

I told him to simply state the facts.  That his income has gone down and hers has gone up and per a new calculation the child support should be changed.

He then asked me why the attorney he spoke to would not have mentioned this tactic.  My answer was that there is no money to be made by parties that are in agreement.  They would rather suggest a course of action that drives in the most revenue for their law firm, essentially doing what is best for them and not their clients.

Make sure to grab your copy of my book while your at it. There is a lot of great information and you will learn a lot about divorce.

Stipulations Taking Long Time To Get Judge To Sign

I have written plenty of articles on how to draft a stipulations and what stipulations are used for in the divorce process, but not so much about how long the stipulations take to get back from court.

Here is the deal. When we draft a stipulation and once it has been filed with the court, it can take several months to get the judge to sign it. It is not because they are figuring out if they are going to approve it or not, rather it is just sitting there in a huge pile of paperwork waiting to be approved.

When we take the stipulations down to the court via messenger, they are given to the file clerk, who receives the payment which is $20 to receive the judge’s signature and then the stipulations are eventually taken to the courtroom where you case is being processed. This is the situation whether your case is completed already or you are in them middle of the case.

So we really have no control over how long it will take to receive a stipulation back from the court. We have even had stipulations lost by the court which is always fun because we have to have the parties sign the stipulation again.

The court’s have even lost full judgments, but don’t get me started on that.

We do quite a bit of stipulations. They are good to draft up agreements the parties have or to make changes or modifications to terms in the divorce judgment or even to modify a previously written stipulation.

Here are some other articles I have written about divorce stipulations

Proof Of Income Required With Spousal Support Stipulations

Changes with Child Support Stipulations

Spousal Support Stipulations Need Specific Start Date

How To Establish Spousal Support Stipulation

In the last week or so we drafted several stipulations. One was a stipulation for child support and spousal support. We are working with clients who needed more time on how to decide the best way to divide up their property and with issues of child custody they still wanted to discus. But they were agreed upon on the amount of child support and spousal support so we went ahead and drafted the stipulations for child support and spousal support.

What we will do when they have the remainder of there agreements in is just attache the stipulation regarding child support and spousal support to the final judgment in their divorce case.

It is sometimes a good idea to have your agreements drafted in a stipulation while your are going through the divorce process so documents the agreements you have if you feel it is going to take a long time to decide everything in your divorce case.

Most our clients do the entire judgment at one time, but for these folks, one of the spouses needed to move out and wanted some reassurance that the child support and spousal support order was in place prior to moving out and is why we drafted the stipulation for child support and spousal support in this case. Additionally, the stipulation for child support and spousal support can be used as evidence of income if you are trying to rent a home or apartment.