Once a judge signs a court order in a family law case, you’re required to comply with what it says. What happens if, after your divorce, things change? What if those changes affect your ability to pay child support or alimony? What if they impact your ability to be around your children? Fortunately, family law orders can be modified.
However, a court will only modify an order if there’s a compelling reason to do so.
If you need an order modification, the best thing you can do is enlist the help of a qualified San Diego family law attorney.
At the Sachdev Legal Group, APC, our team has decades of experience helping families like yours navigate complex legal matters. If you need a family law order modified, we’ll be there to help you from start to finish.
To get started, all you have to do is give our San Diego modifications of order attorneys a call to arrange a time to sit down and discuss your case. Your first consultation is 100 percent free, so contact us now.
How Can a San Diego Family Law Attorney Help If I Need a Family Court Order Modified?
Sometimes things in life are outside of our control. Your employer might transfer you to an office out of state. After a divorce, you might find that your ex’s new spouse is quite abusive, which puts your kids at risk. Or, you might lose your job and find yourself in a really difficult financial situation.
All of these things could potentially affect certain family law orders.
Fortunately, most orders aren’t always permanent. They can potentially be changed. The process involved in getting a court order modified can be complicated. You’ll almost certainly face challenges from the other party – whether that’s your child’s other parent or a former spouse. So, it can be really helpful to enlist an experienced San Diego family law attorney.
The Sachdev Legal Group, APC is intimately familiar with the steps that have to be taken and that burden that must be met to get a court order modified in San Diego. We can help you petition the court to modify family law orders related to:
Our attorneys will guide you through the process, handle all of the paperwork and court filings, and take care of all communication with other parties. We’ll be there to support you and help you fight to get the results you want.
All you have to do to get started is call our San Diego family law practice to arrange a free consultation.
Modifying a Child Custody Order in San Diego
Before a divorce, parents of young children are required to agree about what their custody arrangement will look like after the split. Once an agreement is made – or once a court issues a decision – a judge signs the order. Down the line, if circumstances change, you can seek a post-judgment modification.
In California, a court will approve a modification to a child custody order if:
- It’s necessary and proper to serve the child’s best interest, and
- The parent requesting the modification has had a significant change of circumstances.
So, in other words, you have to have a good reason and changing the order has to be in your child’s best interest.
Here are some common life events and changes of circumstances that are considered to be “significant” enough to warrant a court ordered modification:
- A parent’s work schedule has changed.
- Move away cases, where a parent has taken a new job or relocated out of the area.
- A parent is failing to satisfy their custody obligations, which is causing a disruption in the child’s life (e.g., getting the child to school late, missing after school activities).
- A parent has a drug or alcohol abuse problem that is putting the child at risk.
- A parent is suffering from a psychological condition that is putting the child at risk.
- The child has voiced an interest in spending more or less time with a particular parent.
So, there are basically three reasons a child custody order might be modified. First, your ability to satisfy your custodial requirements have changed. Second, you believe that your child’s safety, health, or wellbeing is in danger because of the other parent’s conduct or illness. Finally, the child wants a change.
Note that California does give weight to what a child wants. The older the child, the more a judge will listen to their requests to have custody matters addressed.
Modifying Financial Support Orders in San Diego
There are two types of financial support orders that are relevant to family law cases – child support and spousal support. Sometimes, when both types of support are ordered, they’re consolidated into one “family support” payment. However, they are distinct. Both can be modified by a family law court.
Requesting a Modification of a Child Support Order
Child support is typically paid by the non-custodial parent. That’s true, even when that parent has visitation rights. This support is intended to ensure that the child is taken care of financially after parents split up. Ideally, the support payments will allow the child to maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed while their parents were together.
California calculates child support obligations by considering a number of factors. This includes both parents’ incomes, both parents’ debts and financial obligations, and custody. However, income, financial obligations, and even custody aren’t static. These things can change over time. If you pay child support and find that your income is cut in half, you’ll find that it’s really tough to make ends meet AND satisfy your legal child support obligations.
So, child support orders can be modified. Again, a court will require a good reason to approve a change, backed by hard evidence. Many times, this requires pay stubs, bank account statements, and other financial documents.
Realistically, any time any of the factors related to the initial calculation change, a request can be approved. Either parent – the one paying or the one receiving on behalf of the child – can request a modification.
Modifying an Order For Alimony in San Diego
Spousal support – or alimony, as it’s often called – isn’t automatic in every divorce. Rather, it’s reserved for a relatively small number of cases. Spousal support is awarded when one spouse earns substantially more than the other at the time of a split, and a court decides that support is fair and/or necessary to help the lesser-earning spouse get back on their feet. Much like child support, alimony is calculated by considering a number of different factors – income, contributions to the marriage/family, assets, and debts.
Spousal support can be modified at any point in time. That might be when the receiving spouse remarries or when the order expires naturally. Either spouse can request the modification. So, you can ask to pay less alimony if you lose your job, or your spouse could ask for more money if you win the lottery. In either event, the spouse seeking the modification will have to back their requests with documentation to support the change.
Can Property Division Orders Be Modified After a Divorce?
No. Property division orders are not subject to post-judgment modification. The terms you agree on are pretty much final. However, some judgments can be rescinded in a set-aside motion if actions were taken by mistake, inadvertently, by surprise, or by neglect.
Additionally, a set-aside motion can rescind a property division judgment if you were prevented from participating meaningfully or you find out that your spouse hid information from you during the process.
Our San Diego Modifications of Order Lawyers Are Here to Help
Once you navigate a divorce or family law dispute, the terms of your agreements are final. However, California appreciates that life is subject to change. So, certain family law orders can be modified, as long as there’s a legitimate reason to do so. However, order modifications are usually contested. They involve a lot of proof and paperwork. The best course of action is to enlist the aid of our experienced San Diego order modification attorneys.
At the Sachdev Legal Group, APC, our lawyers have decades of experience navigating the most complex and challenging family law matters in Southern California. We know how overwhelming the process of getting an order modified can be. We appreciate that the stakes are incredibly high. Let us do the hard work to get you the results you deserve.
Give our San Diego law office a call to arrange a time to sit down to discuss your case. Your first consultation is 100 percent free, so reach out to us today.