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When can a child support order be set aside by a judge?

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Child Support |

In California family law cases, the parties might think that once an order is made by a judge that it cannot be changed. That, however, is not the case. In situations where there are legal justifications to do so, the judge can set aside the decision.

This is even true in critical areas like child support. Whether it is from the viewpoint of the parent who is paying support or the one receiving it, those who want to make the change should know the reasons why it can be done and how to proceed.

There are several reasons for a set aside of child support orders

When the court decides on child support, it will rely on the facts as presented. That includes parental income, their assets and the child’s needs. The court needs accurate information to come to a reasonable decision based on income. If someone committed fraud and did not give the necessary information to the other party or the court, then a set aside is possible.

Perjury is also a justification to set aside the order. Just because a person is testifying in court and is under oath, it does not automatically mean they will be completely truthful. When a person has perjured themselves, the way the amount was decided upon could be called into question.

The request to set aside the order needs to be made within six months of the person discovering fraud or perjury. This is different from when the order was put in effect. If a person discovers years after the order that there was fraud or perjury, they can ask for the set aside.

When asking for a set aside, the request must detail how the law is applicable and what would have been different had the judge known all the facts. If a person claimed to have less income and savings than they had – perhaps from working in a job and being paid in cash – then this needs to be proved via the evidence. Bank records and spending could be useful to show the order was unjustified.

Accuracy is vital with child support orders

The objective of a child support order is to serve the child’s best interests. To achieve that, the court will need to know the parents’ income; potential income; how medical care will be paid for; any special needs the child might have; their education; extracurricular activities; and more.

If either parent was not upfront in providing proof or was outright dishonest, then this could impact the order. Whether it is arguing about a child support amount or requesting a set aside, knowing the law and what steps can be taken is vital.



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