On 04-20-20, the California Judicial Council approved temporary emergency rule #13, which allows a bit more certainty for individuals who are requesting changes to child support and spousal support due to reductions to their income during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rule allows judges to backdate a reduced or increased support order to the date that the request was served on the other party. Before this rule, the backdate could only go back to the time of filing. Prior to the shelter-in-place orders, backdating (or “retroactivity”) to the date of filing was sufficient. However, due to the court’s closures and the inability to file documents, individuals with an immediate need to modify their current child support order have been “out of luck” while they wait for the courts to reopen.
Therefore, if you have reduced income due to changes in your employment, it is in your best interest to complete a request to modify your current support order and serve the other party to protect your interests. It is still up to the judge to decide if the request can be backdated to the date of service. We are sure that the court will evaluate if the documents were completed and served correctly when making its determination.
If you have lost your job or your income has been reduced, due to shelter-in-place order and the effects of the Coronavirus during the COVID-19 global pandemic, please contact our office immediately to discuss your options.