Knowledgeable Guidance for San Diego Residents in Family Law Matters
It is no surprise that people’s circumstances can change as their lives unfold. Under California law, modifications of support and custody orders are permitted if one former spouse’s situation alters significantly. At Jenkins P.C., our experienced family law attorneys are dedicated to helping individuals throughout San Diego petition for modifications as needed. A former spouse can seek to change a spousal support order, a child support order, and even a child custody agreement. A modification occurs after a final judgment has been rendered and that judgment needs to be altered.
Modifying Support and Custody Orders
An individual who is paying spousal support can petition the court to modify the agreement if one of the spouses experiences a material change of circumstances. Under the California Family Code, spousal support agreements can be modified in a number of situations, including the supported spouse remarrying or co-habiting with a new partner, either party’s financial situation changing significantly, or the termination of a child support order. An example of a change in financial situation might include job loss preventing the supporting party from being able to make payments, or a new job for the supported party that obviates the need for support.
Depending on their financial situation, either parent may want to modify the amount of child support that is paid. This is possible if either parent has experienced a significant change in income, or the amount of the time that either parent spends with the child has changed, since this usually affects the relative proportion of resources spent on the child’s behalf. If the parents have an existing agreement regarding child support that is below the state’s child support guideline amount, the court may change it without a change of circumstances. If the parents’ agreement is above the state’s child support guideline amount, however, there has to be a change of circumstances for the court to reduce it.
When there is a final judicial order regarding child custody, the burden to modify it becomes much greater than when it was a temporary custody order. When there is a permanent order, the parent seeking the modification must demonstrate that he or she has experienced a significant change in circumstances that no longer makes the existing order feasible. The parent has to show that the current order affects a child in a way that requires modification. This requires compelling evidence in order to meet the “best interest” standard under the California Family Code. The parent who is opposing the modification request can show the court why the current situation is working and how it preserves the best interest of the child.
Discuss Your Divorce Proceeding with a San Diego Attorney
The capable divorce lawyers at Jenkins P.C. are committed to helping San Diego residents resolve their legal issues as smoothly as possible. We are familiar with virtually all aspects of family law. Handling modification of court orders can be a complex process, which is why it is wise to consult a qualified attorney who understands this area of the law. We proudly represent individuals in and around Del Mar, Poway, Cardiff, Carlsbad, and La Jolla. To learn more, feel free to give us a call for an initial consultation. We can be reached at 858-314-2400