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When Can I Modify My Divorce Decree?

Posted on in Divorce

Los Gatos child custody modification lawyerThe divorce process can be incredibly stressful, and it will require you to make a number of changes to your life. As you transition from married life to being single, both you and your ex-spouse may be looking for a new living situation, seeking new employment, and determining how you can provide for your children. While the decisions made during your divorce are meant to provide a permanent solution, either party’s situation may change drastically in the years after the divorce. In cases where a person’s circumstances have changed, certain parts of a divorce decree can be modified. These post-divorce modifications may address changes to child custody, child support, or spousal support, and when pursuing a modification, you will want to work with a knowledgeable attorney. 

Modifying Your Child Custody Order 

In order to seek a modification to child custody, you must be able to demonstrate to the court that a change in circumstances has occurred. During divorce, the decisions made about legal and physical custody may take parents’ work schedules and housing situations into account. If a parent experiences changes in these areas, either party may petition the court for a modification. For example, if a change in your work schedule would allow you to spend more time with your child, you may ask that your visitation schedule be modified accordingly.

Modifications can also be requested if either parent has failed to provide the care their child needs. If the other parent is struggling to get your child to school on time, not spending adequate time with the child, or failing to provide proper food or clothing, you may ask that the child spend more time with you so you can ensure that their needs will be met. If your ex-spouse is abusing alcohol or drugs, and this puts your child at risk, you can request that restrictions be placed on their parenting time, such as requiring supervision to be present when your child is with them.

Child Support and Spousal Support Modifications 

If you or your ex-spouse have experienced changes that affect your income or your family’s finances, you may seek a modification to the child support or spousal support orders made during your divorce. Whether you are receiving or paying support, it is important to pursue a modification as soon as your situation has changed, due to the fact that modifications cannot be made retroactively. Some situations in which a modification may be appropriate include the loss of a job, an illness or disability that has affected either party’s ability to earn an income, or an increase in the other party's income. 

Contact a Los Gatos Post-Divorce Modification Attorney

Seeking a modification to a court order is not a simple process. Prior to submitting the request, you should plan diligently and ensure that you have evidence showing that you or your ex-spouse have experienced a change in circumstances. Whether you are looking to make changes to child custody, child support, or spousal support, it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. Attorney Benita Ventresca has helped countless clients pursue modifications to their divorce decrees. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a compassionate Los Gatos, CA divorce lawyer, call our office today at 408-395-8822. 

Sources:

https://www.courts.ca.gov/1250.htm?rdeLocaleAttr=en

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