Redondo Beach, CA asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for California

Q: Determining the Effective Date for Modified Support Payments After a Change in Income During Divorce?

During the divorce process, I have been paying temporary child support and alimony. If I experience a change in income and request a modification (RFOMOD), at which point does the court start applying the modified amount? Does it apply:

1) Retroactively from the time the income changed,

2) Retroactively from when the FL-300 RFOMOD form was filed, or

3) From the date of the hearing when the order is issued?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, the effective date for modified support payments after a change in income during divorce proceedings depends on the specific circumstances and the court's discretion. Here are the general guidelines:

1. Retroactively from the time the income changed: Generally, courts do not modify support payments retroactively to the date when the income change occurred, unless there are exceptional circumstances or a stipulation between the parties.

2. Retroactively from when the FL-300 Request for Order (RFO) form was filed: In most cases, if the court grants the modification, it will be effective retroactively to the date the RFO was filed. This is because the filing date is considered the date when the other party was put on notice of the request for modification (California Family Code Section 3653(a)).

3. From the date of the hearing when the order is issued: In some cases, the court may decide to make the modification effective from the date of the hearing or a future date, depending on the circumstances and the court's discretion.

It's important to note that the court has the authority to set the effective date of the modification as it deems appropriate, considering factors such as the reason for the income change, the needs of the children, and the financial circumstances of both parties.

To ensure the best possible outcome, it is advisable to consult with a qualified family law attorney who can provide guidance specific to your case and help you navigate the legal process of requesting a modification of support payments in California.

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