Article 1. General Provisions of California Family Law Code >> Division 9. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 6. >> Article 1.
Unless the provision or context otherwise requires, as used
in this chapter, "support order" means a child, family, or spousal
(a) Except as provided in subdivisions (c) and (d) and
subject to Article 3 (commencing with Section 3680) and Sections
3552, 3587, and 4004, a support order may be modified or terminated
at any time as the court determines to be necessary.
(b) Upon the filing of a supplemental complaint pursuant to
Section 2330.1, a child support order in the original proceeding may
be modified in conformity with the statewide uniform guideline for
child support to provide for the support of all of the children of
the same parents who were named in the initial and supplemental
pleadings, to consolidate arrearages and wage assignments for
children of the parties, and to consolidate orders for support.
(c) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) and subdivision (b), a
support order may not be modified or terminated as to an amount that
accrued before the date of the filing of the notice of motion or
order to show cause to modify or terminate.
(2) If a party to a support order is activated to United States
military duty or National Guard service and deployed out of state,
the service member may file and serve a notice of activation of
military service and request to modify a support order, in lieu of a
notice of motion or order to show cause, by informing the court and
the other party of the request to modify the support order based on
the change in circumstance. The service member shall indicate the
date of deployment, and if possible, the court shall schedule the
hearing prior to that date. If the court cannot hear the matter prior
to the date of deployment out of state, and the service member
complies with the conditions set forth in the Servicemembers Civil
Relief Act, Section 522 of the Appendix of Title 50 of the United
States Code, the court shall grant a stay of proceedings consistent
with the timelines for stays set forth in that section. If, after
granting the mandatory stay required by Section 522 of the Appendix
of Title 50 of the United States Code, the court fails to grant the
discretionary stay described under the law, it shall comply with the
federal mandate to appoint counsel to represent the interests of the
deployed service member. The court may not proceed with the matter if
it does not appoint counsel, unless the service member is
represented by other counsel. If the court stays the proceeding until
after the return of the service member, the service member shall
request the court to set the matter for hearing within 90 days of
return from deployment or the matter shall be taken off calendar and
the existing order may not be made retroactive pursuant to
subdivision (c) of Section 3653.
(3) A service member who does not file a notice of activation of
military service and request to modify a support order or order to
show cause or notice of motion prior to deployment out of state
nonetheless shall not be subject to penalties otherwise authorized by
Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 4720) of Part 5 on the amount of
child support that would not have accrued if the order had been
modified pursuant to paragraph (2), absent a finding by the court of
good cause. Any such finding shall be stated on the record.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no interest shall
accrue on that amount of a child support obligation that would not
have become due and owing if the activated service member modified
his or her support order upon activation to reflect the change in
income due to the activation. Upon a finding by the court that good
cause did not exist for the service member's failure to seek, or
delay in seeking, the modification, interest shall accrue as
otherwise allowed by law.
(d) An order for spousal support may not be modified or terminated
to the extent that a written agreement, or, if there is no written
agreement, an oral agreement entered into in open court between the
parties, specifically provides that the spousal support is not
subject to modification or termination.
(e) This section applies whether or not the support order is based
upon an agreement between the parties.
(f) This section is effective only with respect to a property
settlement agreement entered into on or after January 1, 1970, and
does not affect an agreement entered into before January 1, 1970, as
to which Chapter 1308 of the Statutes of 1967 shall apply.
(g) (1) The Judicial Council, no later than 90 days after the
effective date of the act adding this section, shall develop any
forms and procedures necessary to implement paragraph (2) of
subdivision (c). The Judicial Council shall ensure that all forms
adopted pursuant to this section are in plain language.
(2) The form developed by the Judicial Council, in addition to
other items the Judicial Council determines to be necessary or
appropriate, shall include the following:
(A) The date of deployment and all information relevant to the
determination of the amount of child support, including whether the
service member's employer will supplement the service member's income
during the deployment.
(B) A notice informing the opposing party that, absent a finding
of good cause, the order will be made retroactive to the date of
service of the form or the date of deployment, whichever is later.
(C) Notice that the requesting party must notify the court and the
other party upon return from military duty and seek to bring any
unresolved request for modification to hearing within 90 days of
return, or else lose the right to modify the order pursuant to this
Except as against a governmental agency, an order modifying,
terminating, or setting aside a support order may include an award of
attorney's fees and court costs to the prevailing party.
(a) An order modifying or terminating a support order may be
made retroactive to the date of the filing of the notice of motion or
order to show cause to modify or terminate, or to any subsequent
date, except as provided in subdivision (b) or by federal law (42
U.S.C. Sec. 666(a)(9)).
(b) If an order modifying or terminating a support order is
entered due to the unemployment of either the support obligor or the
support obligee, the order shall be made retroactive to the later of
the date of the service on the opposing party of the notice of motion
or order to show cause to modify or terminate or the date of
unemployment, subject to the notice requirements of federal law (42
U.S.C. Sec. 666(a)(9)), unless the court finds good cause not to make
the order retroactive and states its reasons on the record.
(c) If an order modifying or terminating a support order is
entered due to a change in income resulting from the activation to
United States military service or National Guard duty and deployment
out of state for either the support obligor or the support obligee,
the order shall be made retroactive to the later of the date of the
service on the opposing party of the notice of activation, notice of
motion, order to show cause to modify or terminate, or the date of
activation, subject to the notice requirements of federal law (42
U.S.C. Sec. 666(a)(9)), unless the court finds good cause not to make
the order retroactive and states its reasons on the record. Good
cause shall include, but not be limited to, a finding by the court
that the delay in seeking the modification was not reasonable under
the circumstances faced by the service member.
(d) If an order decreasing or terminating a support order is
entered retroactively pursuant to this section, the support obligor
may be entitled to, and the support obligee may be ordered to repay,
according to the terms specified in the order, any amounts previously
paid by the support obligor pursuant to the prior order that are in
excess of the amounts due pursuant to the retroactive order. The
court may order that the repayment by the support obligee shall be
made over any period of time and in any manner, including, but not
limited to, by an offset against future support payments or wage
assignment, as the court deems just and reasonable. In determining
whether to order a repayment, and in establishing the terms of
repayment, the court shall consider all of the following factors:
(1) The amount to be repaid.
(2) The duration of the support order prior to modification or
(3) The financial impact on the support obligee of any particular
method of repayment such as an offset against future support payments
or wage assignment.
(4) Any other facts or circumstances that the court deems
At the request of either party, an order modifying,
terminating, or setting aside a support order shall include a
statement of decision.