If you have a court-ordered child or spousal support order, it may be out of date if you have not reviewed it in the past year. All support orders are based on the parties’ financial circumstances at the time the order is issued.
According to California Family Code § 3664, following the entry of judgment in a divorce or paternity action, either party may serve the other party with a Request for Production of Income and Expense Declaration After Judgment. This Request includes a demand for recent paycheck stubs and the other party’s most recent federal and state personal income tax returns.
The significance of this Request is that it may be done once per year and does not require any pending hearing or action in the case. Otherwise, parents or spouses would have to first file a request to modify the support orders, then find out whether or not they may be able to modify their orders. This is a more time and cost effective manner of discovering whether or not you should file for a change in your support order.
Furthermore, if the other party does not respond to your Request for Production of Income and Expense Declaration, or if their response is incomplete, then you will be able to obtain the information directly from the other party’s employer.
More importantly, if you end up filing a request to modify your child and/or spousal support order, and the other party failed to adequately respond to your request, you will be able to demand that they pay for your attorney’s fees and costs in having to bring such a motion.
It is important to have an annual review of your support orders, whether you are the party paying or receiving either child support or spousal support. Circumstances often change that warrant a modification to the support orders issued by the Court.
Contact one of the Family Law attorneys at Lapine & Forsse so we can review your support orders and advise you whether you are entitled to a change.