When Child Visitation Schedules Change, So Can Your Support Payments
A parent can retroactively get credit for child support payments they paid to an ex-spouse who no longer takes care of their child through Jackson Credits
When couples with children go through divorce or otherwise separate, they must establish a plan with the court documenting how they will share access and time with their children. The resulting child custody and visitation agreement may state that Mom has the children during the school week, while Dad has visitation rights every other weekend. It may state that each parent will split time with their children 50/50. As time goes by, however, parents and children’s’ needs may change, and visitation schedules may change as well.
Take, for example, some teenage children prefer to live solely with one parent over the other. Parents may agree to their teen’s wishes, thinking that their son or daughter is going through “a temporary phase.” That may create a situation where, even though their teen has changed residence, parents may not go back to court to modify their child custody and child support orders.
As I have written in a previous blog post, How Is Child Support in California Calculated? the amount of child support a parent pays is based on each parent’s net disposable monthly income and the amount of time they will spend caring for the child. So, what happens when child custody arrangements change, without the parents’ revising their child custody and support agreements?
Child support payments can be modified retroactively though Jackson Credits
A parent can retroactively get credit from the court for child support payments that they paid to the ex-spouse or partner who no longer takes care of their child, or has the child less often than originally planned. To prove that Jackson Credits apply in your case, you will need to show that even though you did not have legal custody of your child, you had actual physical custody. It is helpful if you can provide school records and other evidence demonstrating how much time your child spent with you. Emails and texts between you and your ex can often establish who had actual custody.
I can help with your child support modification
Without needing to meet in person, I can draw up a child support modification for you and represent you to the court. I will be able to help you get Jackson Credits for the child support you have already paid. Please contact my office for a consultation.
Attorney Christina Sherman is a Marin County CA family law attorney and Certified Family Law Specialist, specializing in divorce, child custody and support, marital contracts and other family law issues.