Many people experience life changes in the months and years after going through a divorce, making it either impractical or impossible to comply with the terms of their divorce decree. Fortunately, California law allows former spouses to revise certain provisions of the final order where there’s a substantial change in circumstances. The process is called post-judgment modification and it’s a court proceeding you should discuss with an experienced California divorce attorney. However, it’s useful to review some general information on common situations that may call for modification.
Otherwise known as alimony, spousal support is intended to financially assist the lower earning party in maintaining a reasonably comfortable lifestyle after divorce. However, once that person is able to provide for himself or herself, alimony may no longer be appropriate. Alternatively, if a party begins a cohabitation relationship with another person, allowing him or her to continue to collect spousal support would be inequitable.
The needs of minor children seem to change overnight for many parents, whether they’re divorced or not. Costs of education, extra-curricular activities, and other circumstances may fluctuate, and child support may need to increase or decrease accordingly. In other cases, the parent paying support may go through an employment change that makes it difficult to adhere to court-ordered obligations.
Child Visitation and Custody
The schedules of parents and children may require the parties to review arrangements for custody, visitation, and parenting time. Another factor that makes it difficult to stick to visitation and custody arrangements may be one parent’s relocation, whether for a job, family, or relationship. The post-judgment modification process also applies to this type of change in circumstances. Note that modifying custody, visitation, and parenting time may also require a change to child support obligations. If the child will be spending more time with the payor parent than the recipient, payments should be adjusted to accommodate the new arrangement.
Contact a Knowledgeable Lawyer About Post-Judgment Modification
It’s understandable that your life may change after divorce, but you still must go through the proper process if you want to make a post-judgment modification. Whether you need to revisit support issues or child visitation and custody, it’s critical to retain a skilled California divorce attorney to assist with your case. If you have questions or would like to consult with a lawyer about your options, please contact the Law Office of Charles D. Stark. Our firm represents clients in Santa Rosa, CA and throughout Sonoma County, and we’re happy to help.