After an initial court order, a party can seek a modification of the support orders for a change of circumstances. Thus, if there is a change in the custody arrangement or in the income of either party the court can make changes to the support orders. If you have a case in Orange County, and there has been a change in your custody arrangement, or in your income, you have the right to file for a modification of child support.
A change in payment structure can be considered as a change in circumstances in order to modify an Orange County support order. So, if one party changes jobs and still has the same or comparable income at the end of the year but part of that income is now paid as a discretionary bonus, that party can seek to modify his or her support order. The party seeking the modification needs to show that a portion of the income is now paid by a discretionary bonus (this means that it is not certain that the bonus will be paid and/or how much will be paid to the paying spouse). In such cases, the court can order that a percentage of the bonus be paid as support when the bonus is received. Thus, if the bonus is paid to the paying spouse that party will pay a percentage of the bonus as child support. Conversely, if the paying spouse does not receive a bonus he or she would not be liable for additional support.
This is crucial in cases where the monthly support order that exists exceeds the paying spouse’s ability to pay based on his or her current base salary. By awarding that a percentage of any bonus be paid as additional support, a party can reduce his or her monthly support payment to a level within the person’s ability to pay and defer the additional support payments once that party has received a bonus. Otherwise, the paying spouse would have to borrow money to make the monthly support order. This clearly does not comply with the court’s intent.
For more information on support orders and how to file a modification, please contact one of our aggressive and caring attorneys at 800-589-9901 or firstname.lastname@example.org.