Either parent, may – through a motion filed by either parent or filed by DCSS at either parents request – ask that a child support order be modified (changed) if there has been a "substantial change of circumstances" since the entry of the last order was made by the court. Usually an order is modified when there is a change in custody or visitation times, or a large change in the income of either parent that will last for more than a few months.
Per state guidelines, child support agencies must ask the court to modify an existing child support court order if the child support guideline calculator indicates that monthly child support should be increased or decreased by at least $50.00 or 20%, whichever is less.
A written motion requesting the modification is filed with the court and delivered to the parents. Usually the court requires both parents to file completed financial income & expense declarations, then holds a court hearing to set the terms of the new child support court order. The court hearing process provides an opportunity for the parents/parties to the motion to be present & heard in court. If either party is served with a subpoena, they must appear in court.
An order can only be modified by the court. This may be done by a written stipulation signed by the parties and by the court. If no written stipulation is signed and filed, then a written motion requesting the modification must be filed with the court. The motion must be delivered to the opposing party and DCSS. Usually the court requires both parents to file completed financial declarations, and then holds a hearing to set the new order.
How to Request a Modification Review:
- Online: We encourage you to use TurboCourt to request a modification review. This FREE online program guides you through a series of necessary questions about your income and visitation with the child(ren). It fills in the appropriate forms and submits them electronically to our office for the next action. It’s fast and stress free!
- Phone: While you are highly encouraged to apply online through TurboCourt, if you are unable to do so, you may request an application be mailed to you by calling our office at (866) 901-3212. You must return the completed packet within 20 business days of the request. Our mailing address is Sacramento County DCSS, P.O. Box 269112, Sacramento, CA 95826. You may also place your completed packet in the designated document drop box in our lobby. Our office is located at 3701 Power Inn Road, Sacramento, CA 95826 and we are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Court: You also have the option of requesting a modification directly from the court. For more information about filing your own request for modification, please visit the Sacramento County Family Law Facilitator.