Close Menu
Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP - Attorneys at Law
  • Confidential Consultations
  • Hablamos Español

Post-Decree Modifications in California Family Law Court

Going through a divorce is stressful, and many people are anxious to be done with the whole process. However, sometimes after the papers are signed and filed with the court, issues come up that cause a party to wish to modify the original agreement. After all, life is complicated, and things change. When something causes a previous judgment to no longer be fair or practical, it is possible for to file a post-decree motion to modify the existing order. Here are some of the reasons people find themselves back in court after a divorce has been completed.

Financial changes

One frequent cause for a modification is a significant change in the finances of the parties. For instance, if one party was paying the other party a set amount of spousal and child support, but then the party paying the support loses their job, it might be possible to alter the amount of support. Of course, the party responsible for making the payments cannot just decide not to find another job, but if there is a legitimate hardship on the part of the paying party, this could result in a modification.

Another scenario where this might occur is if one party was paying the other party a set amount of child support, but the children are now spending most of their time with the person who was paying. For instance, imagine that a mother had the children the majority of the time, and was receiving support from the father. The mother got a new job that involved frequent travel, and the kids started staying with their father more often than with their mother. In this case, it could be possible to modify the original support order.

Custody modifications

Custody or visitation orders determine where minor children will spend their time. There are situations where these arrangements might be altered. For example, let us say that the father has primary physical custody, and the kids spend most of their nights at his house. He has to drive them to school every day, and to their activities, doctor’s appointments and anywhere else they need to be. Then the father gets arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and loses his license. Here the mother might request a change of the custody arrangement because the father cannot take the children where they need to go, and perhaps because he might have put the children at risk because of his behavior.

Other situations that may lead to a post-decree modification include health issues of either parent or child, relocations of either parent and sometimes remarriage of a parent.

It is important to remember that post-decree modifications require that there was a significant change in circumstances. While sometimes parties might not feel that the result was fair, attempting to change something shortly after it was entered just because you did not like the decision will probably not have sufficient cause for modification. Additionally, bringing an ex-spouse back to court can be expensive. It is important to know that you have a good reason for modifying a judgment and that you have facts to back up your case.

If you have questions regarding post-decree modifications in a family law case, contact Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP today at 909-798-3300 for a free consultation.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.