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Make Modifications To A Case

A change in a court order is called a modification. Either parent can request that the Child Support Services Department review his or her 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 include:

  • A change in primary custody (who the child lives with most of the time)

  • A significant change in visitation regarding the supported child

  • A significant change in the income of either parent

  • Incarceration of the Person Paying Support (PPS)

  • The PPS starts receiving General Relief (GR), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Veteran’s Benefits

  • Military deployment (see Military for more information)


Modification Review Process

When a Person Receiving Support (PRS) or Person Paying Support (PPS) requests modification, the Child Support Services Department (CSSD) sends a modification packet to both parents requesting information about each parent’s financial status and various other factors that affect child support. CSSD will determine if asking the court for a modification is appropriate based on the financial and other information provided.

If a modification is appropriate, both parties will be informed of the decision. CSSD 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 must be filed with the court. When the judicial officer signs the form, it becomes a court order. If an agreement is not reached ahead of time, the case will go to court and the judicial officer will decide the amount of support. At the court hearing, the amount of the child support order may be either increased or decreased, or the judge may deny the motion to modify.

To request a modification review:

  • You may call our Customer Contact Center at (866) 901-3212.

  • Or you may request a modification review in person at one of our public contact offices.

Until an order for child support is modified, the PPS is required to pay the child support amount in the existing order. Contact Us if there is a change in circumstances.

Parents also have the option of requesting a modification directly from the court. For more information about filing your own request for modification, contact the Office of the Family Law Facilitator.

Frequently Asked Questions

    I am a noncustodial parent. If I lose my job, do I still have to pay child support?

    Yes, but you may be entitled to a reduced support order if you lost your job through no fault of your own. Please contact our office as soon as possible to advise us that you lost your job and request a review of your support order.

    I am a noncustodial parent, but my child lives with me now. Can I change the child support order?

    Only the court has the jurisdiction to change your custody and child support order. However, our office can help with your child support order. When there is a change in visitation or custody of the child, please contact our office to request a review of your court order. For assistance with your custody order, please consult your attorney or contact the Riverside Superior Court’s Family Law Assistance Center if you are not represented by an attorney.

    My ex-spouse has remarried and has another family to support. How will this affect the support that my children are due?

    Even though the other parent has a second family, it does not mean that his or her responsibility to the first family goes away. However, the amount of the support order can be affected because he/she has the responsibility for supporting another child (ren). You must be notified first and given an opportunity to provide information before your support order can be changed.