How to File a Motion for Reconsideration of Child Support Payments in California

Whether you are the parent who is going to be paying child support, or the parent who will be receiving child support payment on behalf a child in California, getting an inaccurate and/or undesirable child support order from a judge can have enormous financial implications over the long run. Remember that child support will generally be paid at least until the child reaches the age of 18, so even a $50 per month error one way or the other could add up to over $10,000 in difference for a young child. A $500 per month error could add up to over $100,000 over the years. Which means that filing a motion for reconsideration of a child support order as a way of appealing the child support ruling makes sense when there are grounds to do so.

You Must Act Quickly to Appeal

In California, you have only 10 days from the receipt of a written child support order to file your motion for reconsideration. Keep in mind this is not simply filling in a few blanks, signing a document, and filing it with a court clerk. You will have to present arguments for why the judge should reconsider his or her order with supporting evidence, so you should not hesitate to reach out to an attorney for assistance with this motion for reconsideration as quickly as possible after an order is made, even if you retained a different attorney initially or did not work with an attorney at all.

If more than 10 days have passed, you may have other options for appealing your order, however, and if the order was made in the past and your circumstances have since changed, you can also work with an attorney in seeking a modification of child support payments upwards or downwards at any point.

What Must Be Included in the Motion for Reconsideration

When you file a motion for reconsideration, you are asking the judge to essentially look back at his own order and make a different decision, but you must provide a specific reason that he should reconsider, beyond just thinking the order was unfair or wrong without further explanation.

Under California’s law, the motion should explain that the order should be reconsidered based on “new or different facts, circumstances, or law.” This means you and/or your attorney will need to show that the judge was either:

  • wrong on the law that was applied in reaching the original order, and provide legal sources such as previous cases or statutory interpretations for why he was wrong; or
  • present facts that the judge failed to consider at the time the order was made, e.g. because the other party prevented the judge from learning such facts, misrepresented such facts, or you only became aware of such facts later

Why Working With a CA Family Law Attorney is Important

Obviously, the judge will have made the original order based on the law and facts known to him at the time of the order, and so there will have to be a compelling argument presented to the judge for why that was wrong. An experienced family law attorney can work with you to examine what was presented to the judge initially, any new or different facts that have arisen, and any applicable California law that should have been applied to file the motion for reconsideration on your behalf in pursuit of obtaining a more fair child support order.

Experienced Representation in Your California Child Support Matter

At Kearney | Baker, our Pasadena family law attorneys have 60 years of combined experience in reaching positive outcomes on behalf of our clients in child support matters. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your circumstances.