Parenting plans aren’t always built to last, and if either you or your co-parent has undergone a significant change in circumstances, you may need to modify your current child custody or child support arrangement. Between job changes, raises, relocations, and other life changes, it’s likely that you and your co-parent will need to establish new rules for your parenting plan as time goes on. When it comes time to make a change, you might consider the benefits of mediation.
Whether your previous child custody or child support agreement was established in mediation or through a California court, seeking a modification through the mediation process could be the best choice for you.
Mediation is a low-conflict alternative for individuals who wish to work through their legal problems without going to court. With the help of an unbiased third-party mediator, parents can negotiate the terms of their child custody or child support arrangement together, working towards common goals respectfully and efficiently. The outcome is a legally-binding document that both parents agree to honor. However, if the previous agreements are no longer working, parents can use mediation to create modifications to their existing plans, or to create an entirely new parenting agreement, if necessary.
Understanding the Legal Process
When the terms set forth in your existing child custody or child support agreement no longer work for both parties, a modification may be in order. In the state of California, all modifications must be warranted. In other words, the circumstance of either parent must have changed significantly in order for the change to be justifiable.
Common reasons for a child support or custody modification include:
- A change in income
- Job loss
- Either parent has more children
If both parents agree to a modification, they can use a mediator to help them negotiate any changes to their existing parenting plan. This might occur over a single meeting, but could take several separate consultations before a final agreement is reached.
Working out a child custody or child support issue through mediation can benefit both the parents and their children. Mediation is often less expensive than litigation, it also helps both parties keep their legal issues private. The process is also shorter, in most cases, which allows the parents to move forward more quickly without court interference. Additionally, mediation allows parents to control the way in which they parent their children, giving them more control over the situation.
If you need to modify child support payments or a child custody arrangement, our firm is here to help. Contact Alternative Divorce Solutionsto request a free consultation with our Orange County mediation attorneys.