Making Changes To Your Divorce Judgment
When a court hands down a divorce, child custody or child support order, it is not always set in stone. Situations change, and the California family court system allows for post-judgment modifications to reflect those changes.
If you need help with a post-judgment modification, or if you believe that your former spouse or partner’s request for a modification is unfounded, we can help. With over 24 years of family law experience, Escondido modification attorney and California Bar-Certified Family Law Specialist with the California Board of Legal Specialization Heidi Collier can help you understand your legal rights and options. Heidi D. Collier, APC, serves clients throughout San Diego County, including Rancho Bernardo, 4S Ranch, Rancho Peñasquitos, Poway, Carmel Valley, La Jolla, Santaluz and the surrounding areas.
What Orders Can And Can’t Be Modified
Over time, your situation may change, and the initial court order regarding your divorce, child custody arrangement or spousal support agreement may no longer make sense. When this is the case, you can request a modification or adjustment.
Generally speaking, if the terms of divorce allow for modification, the following things can be changed:
- Child custody arrangements
- Visitation rights and schedules
- Child support agreements
- Spousal support agreements
Note that child support cannot be modified in a way that deviates dramatically from the California child support guidelines. Additionally, the division of property cannot be modified once a divorce is finalized. One exception to this, however, is if there were undisclosed assets, in which case, you may request that these assets are formally divided by the court.
In most cases, you must show that there have been considerable or significant changes in your situation or the situation of your former spouse/partner in order to successfully pursue a post-judgment modification order.
Examples of significant changes include but are not limited to:
- You lost your job or had a considerable change in income, affecting your ability to make child support and/or spousal support payments
- The other parent of your child wants to move out of the local area or even out of the state, affecting your child custody/visitation agreement
- Your child is at least 14 years old and has changed his/her preference about which parent he/she wants to live with
- You or your child has developed new needs (an illness, special schooling requirements, etc.), affecting your spousal/child support agreement
Family Law Representation For Clients Across San Diego County And Beyond
While it is possible to request post-judgment modifications, the process of actually doing so can be complex. It is a good idea to work with a qualified attorney who can help ensure that you complete all the necessary steps, attend all required hearings, and successfully navigate the process.
At Heidi D. Collier, APC, our Escondido divorce modification lawyer has extensive experience helping individuals and families request modifications that reflect the changing nature of their unique situations. She can help you protect your rights and work toward a favorable resolution.