Modify My Order

A change in a court order is called a modification. Either parent may request that the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) review their child support case for modification. Generally, a modification must be based upon a "substantial change of circumstances" since the last order was made by the court.

Examples of a Change in Circumstances

Examples of a change in circumstances include:

  • A change in custody or parenting time with the child(ren).
  • A significant change in the income of either parent.
  • Incarceration of the parent paying support.

Modification Review Process

When either parent requests a modification review, DCSS sends a modification packet to both parties requesting information about each parent's financial status and other factors that affect child support. DCSS will determine if asking the court for a modification is appropriate based on the information provided by both parties.

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.

If a modification is appropriate, DCSS will file the necessary papers with the court to set a court hearing unless the parties can agree to the support amount ahead of time.

If an agreement is reached, a stipulation is signed by both parties and filed with the court. When the court approves the stipulation, it becomes a court order. This process does not require the appearance of either parent at a court hearing.

If an agreement is not reached ahead of time, the case will go to court and the commissioner will decide the amount of child support. At the court hearing, the amount of the child support order may either increase or decrease, or the commissioner may deny the motion to modify.

How to Request a Modification Review

You may request a modification review by completing one of the following:

  1. Phone: ​Contact our Customer Service Center at (866) 901-3212. We are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
  2. In Person: Visit our office at 3701 Power Inn Road, Sacramento, CA 95826. We are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  3. 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.

Have an Agreement with the Other Parent? Sign a Stipulation.

If both parents agree to a new child support amount, we can also facilitate a stipulation in person or over the phone. Please contact our office at (866) 901-3212 or your assigned case worker for more information.