CALIFORNIA FAMILY CODE
MODIFICATION, TERMINATION, OR SET ASIDE OF SUPPORT ORDERS
Modification or termination of support order
Family Code Section 3651
(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
(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 servicemember
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 servicemember
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 servicemember. The court may
not proceed with the matter if it does not appoint counsel, unless the
servicemember is represented by other counsel. If the court stays the
proceeding until after the return of the service member, the servicemember
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 servicemember 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 law, interest shall not 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 servicemember'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 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 servicemember's
employer will supplement the servicemember'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 section.