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Skip Navigation Links Home > How the Child Support Process Works > Step 8: Modify A Support Order

Modify A Child Support Order

 Step 8 - Modify A Child Support Order

You can modify your court-ordered child support amount whether you are the custodial or non-custodial party. To be eligible for a modification, the monthly child support must change by at least $50 or 20%, whichever is less.

 Change of Circumstances

Contact us or visit the Family Law Facilitator for free legal assistance with the process if your circumstances have changed. Request a modification if:

  • You are laid off or fired from a job
  • You get a new or additional job
  • Your income or the other parent’s income increases or decreases
  • Custody or visitation changes
  • Family size changes
  • You become disabled
  • You go to jail or prison
  • You are deployed to active military service

  •  Modification Process

    The modification process includes the following steps:

  • When either party requests modification, a modification packet is sent to both parents requesting information about each parent’s financial status and various other factors that affect child support. The department will determine if asking the court for a modification is appropriate.
  • If a modification is appropriate, both parties will be informed of the decision. The department will file the necessary papers with the court to set a hearing date. At the hearing, the amount of the child support order may be either increased or decreased, or the judge may deny the motion to modify.
  • Until an order for child support is modified, the NCP is required to pay the child support amount in the existing order.

  • Please complete and submit the following forms by mail or at one of our locations:

  • Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150)
  • PDF instructions on how to fill out Income and Expense Declaration
  • PDF instructions on how to fill out Income and Expense Declaration (Spanish/Español)
  • Request for Review Frequently Asked Questions
  • Request for Modification Review

  •  Going to Court
    The information below provides general information regarding appearances for child support matters in court and a brief overview of the court process.
    • Locations
    • San Bernardino Court
      San Bernardino District Child Support Division
      655 W. 2nd St.
      San Bernardino, CA 92415-0248
      [Get Directions]

    • Victorville Court
      14455 Civic Drive
      Victorville, CA 92392
      [Get Directions]

  • Documentation to Bring
    If you received a letter from the department telling you to come to court, bring that letter with you.
    If the case involves determining the correct amount of support for your child(ren), the court will need proof of your income and other factors to use to calculate how much child support should be paid.
    Please bring ALL documents that apply from the following list:
  • Tax returns for the past two (2) years. If self-employed, bring Schedule “C” and current profit-and-loss statement
  • Last three (3) paycheck stubs
  • Proof of unemployment benefits
  • Proof of disability and/or disability benefits
  • Proof of health insurance premium payments
  • Proof of child care expenses
  • Proof of child support and/or spousal support paid by you for any other relationship
  • Proof of visitation/timeshare (time spent with the child)
  • Proof of biological or legally adopted children living with you
  • Proof of mortgage payments and property tax bill
  • Any other documents or information the department, or the judicial officer, has told you to bring
  • Completed Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150)
  • PDF instructions on how to fill out Income and Expense Declaration
  • PDF instructions on how to fill out Income and Expense Declaration (Spanish/Español)

  • Restraining Orders to Bring
    Please alert the department prior to your court date if you have a restraining order or there is a history of domestic violence involving the other party. We will interview each party separately.

  • In Court Process
    Prior to the hearing, all parties will meet with a department representative. If either party is represented by an attorney, that attorney must be present. If the parties are able to reach an agreement during that meeting, then a court hearing may not be needed. A stipulation will be prepared for all parties to sign. Once the court approves the stipulation, the agreement becomes a valid court order.

    If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the case will be heard in court. A child support Commissioner will hear your case. The Commissioner is appointed by the Superior Court to hear child support cases. The department’s attorney presents the case to the court, by telling the Commissioner what the issues are and provides any relevant information that was discovered during the meeting that was held prior to the hearing. Please note that the department’s attorney does not represent either party. The Commissioner may ask questions of both parties, usually related to income and visitation. If the Commissioner determines that enough information has been provided, he or she may make an order in court and our department will prepare a written order for the Commissioner to sign. If the Commissioner believes more information is needed, he or she will schedule a continuance. If one of the parties does not attend the hearing, a decision could be made without that person.

  •  After Hearing Process
    Once the hearing is completed, the parties will be given the opportunity to meet with a caseworker to:
  • Ask any questions they may have about what happened in the courtroom
  • Receive information about the payment process
  • In addition, the non-custodial parent will be given the opportunity to make an initial payment.

    Click here for frequently asked questions regarding the modification process.