MODIFYING A CHILD SUPPORT ORDER, SPOUSAL SUPPORT ORDER, VISITATION OR CUSTODY ORDERS
Over time, circumstances change. The child support, spousal support, custody or visitation orders that once served you well may need to be changed in order to meet your family’s existing financial situation, goals and lifestyle choices. Our experienced family law attorneys can help you modify existing court orders to meet your needs. The process can be complex – as in any family law matter where emotions and finances are involved – but when orders are properly modified you will benefit from a court order that makes sense for the way you and your family live.
Our experienced family law attorneys handle modification and enforcement of a range of different matters:
- Child support
- Alimony/spousal support
- Child custody and visitation
Child Support Modification
Child support modifications are needed when the financial circumstances of either parent change. Either parent may request a review of the child support order if there is a change in circumstances like a substantial increase or decrease in the earnings by either parent, or a change in the amount of time the child spends with each parent.
If you are the supporting parent and your employment situation changes or you become ill and you are no longer able to pay the amount originally requested, then you will need to modify the court ordered child support. Unless appropriate steps are taken with the court to secure the modification of the order, even if the other parent verbally agrees to the modification, your obligations under the prior order will remain in place despite your changed circumstances. Remember, child support is an obligation owed to your children, not your ex-spouse, and the court will presume that your children are entitled to whatever support award is contained in the currently existing order. If you need to modify your child support payments, our family law attorneys can prepare your petition and help properly document your changed financial or health condition.
Child support modifications are also available if the health or finances of the recipient parent change. If you are the parent receiving child support and need to increase the child support order in light of a change in your circumstances (or an increase in the income available for support to the paying parent), our family law attorneys can help you modify the order so that you are receiving the support to which your children are entitled.
Modification of Spousal Support Orders
California spousal support is considered final at the time of the dissolution of the marriage or divorce. California family law does allow for changes to spousal support when material changes to the factors used to determine the support payments occur. Modifications of spousal support are typically based on changes in income and, like child support changes, either spouse can request a modification to a spousal support order. Unlike modification of child support orders, though, modification of a final spousal support order requires a more detailed analysis of the changed circumstances leading to the requested modification.
Whether you are the spouse making support payments (obligor spouse) or the spouse receiving payments (the recipient spouse), our experienced family law attorneys can assist you in obtaining a modification in line with your current financial circumstances.
Modification of Custody and Visitation Orders
Custody and visitation orders are based on circumstances at the point of the dissolution of marriage. The goal is to establish a schedule that is in the best interests of the children, while giving both parents an appropriate level of parental access. However, circumstances can and do change over time, and if those changes are substantial, there may be grounds to modify custody and visitation orders. One of the more common situations that may result in modification of custody is when one parent moves or relocates (often called a “move-away“).
Our family law attorneys have handled many cases where modification of custody orders comes into play, and we have the experience to handle the most complex of modification situations, including interstate and international move-aways.