The Only Constant Is Change: Post-Judgment Modifications
To account for significant changes after a divorce, California allows post-judgment modifications. No matter how impractical an existing court order may seem, it is never a good idea to stop following it. In fact, if you do so, you might be held in contempt of court. Post-judgment modifications must be done through the legal system. At the Law Office of David P. Schwarz, our knowledgeable family law attorneys can help you seek to modify a judgment or advocate against a modification that would be inappropriate.
The Process Of Pursuing A Post-Judgment Modification
Under California law, ex-spouses may petition for a modification of a child custody order, a child support order, or a spousal support order. Once a judge grants a custody order, for example, one parent or the other may want to modify the order for a variety of reasons. The parent seeking the modification must show that there has been a change in circumstances that requires a new custody arrangement. Some types of changed circumstances may include a move by one parent, scheduling conflicts with work or school, the abuse of a child, or a change in the child’s needs, interests, or activities. It is important to note that a judge will only modify a custody order if it is in the best interest of the child.
A parent also may want to change an existing child support order for various reasons. Just as with a child custody modification, a child support modification may only be sought if there was a change in circumstances since the last support order was issued. Such changes in circumstances may include changes in the income of one or both parents, the birth of another child to one of the parents, the amount of time that the child spends with each parent, and changes in the child’s needs. California law allows a modified order to go back to the date that the modification request was filed. It does not matter who filed the modification request or whether it was to increase or decrease child support.
A person who pays spousal support may seek to modify the spousal support order if one or both spouses experience a significant change in circumstances. For example, a change might involve the remarriage of the recipient spouse, new expenses on behalf of a child, job loss by the paying spouse, or an illness or injury that interferes with a spouse’s earning capacity or creates high medical expenses. If spouses are able to mutually agree on a change, they may create a new agreement on their own and submit it to the court for approval.
Seek Guidance From A Trusted Family Law Attorney
After your divorce is finalized, you or your ex-spouse may find a need to go back to court to adjust one or more of the orders that was issued. In these situations, you should not hesitate to consult a family law lawyer who can help you navigate the process at the Law Office of David P. Schwarz. To set up a consultation with us, call 949-296-4119 or contact us online.