Modification Orders Attorney in San Luis Obispo, CA
There are many reasons why you would file to have your court order modified. Generally, these fall under any of the three reasons:
- There have been significant changes to the circumstances of you or your ex-spouse after the orders were enacted,
- The court, or any other related party, made a procedural error that you think was not in your favor (post-judgement motions),
- You and your ex-spouse have come upon an agreement that is different from the court orders.
If you need help modifying orders in California, contact our experienced family law attorneys in San Luis Obispo, CA today.
Causes for Court Order Modifications
Change in Circumstances
When the court ruling for your divorce was made, it was made in the context of your statuses at the time, but these statuses can change over time. For instance, you or your ex-partner may have lost a job which affected your respective incomes. This may make it unfair, if not impossible, for either party to follow the old setup.
When you file for a court order modification on the grounds of a change in circumstances, the court will review your present situation anew, and make a ruling on the grounds of that.
In some cases, you may think that the court ruling was not in your favor and was unfair. In such cases, you can file post-judgment motions to challenge the ruling that was made. To do this, you typically file a motion under one of the three:
- A motion to vacate. This is for when you believe the final court ruling is not in line with its reasoning for such a ruling.
- A motion to set aside the court’s judgement. If you have reason to believe that the ruling was made under duress, if it was made mistakenly, or if it was the result of fraudulent activity.
- A motion for a new trial or for reconsideration. If you think the court has made a procedural or legal error.
Post-judgement motions are the most complicated causes for order modification and typically involve lengthy procedural processes. It also involved complex legal challenges and specific time limits (known as the statute of limitations).
It is for these reasons that you should talk to a San Luis Obispo modification orders attorney today to get legal help in making a solid case that will demonstrate to the family court why they should make a new ruling in your favor.
Agreements, on the other hand, are the most simple and cost-effective reasons for court order modifications. If either party feels that there is a need to change the court order, they may approach the other spouse and negotiate any changes that they might wish to make.
This is more cost-effective because it avoids the legal technicalities and lengthy processes that the other motions will need. Furthermore, there will be no need for either party to appear in court. All you have to do is create a written agreement which you will submit to the California family law court and have the judge sign it.
While this is the simplest motion, it is still recommended that you consult with a modification orders attorney to make sure that your agreement is constructed properly and that there are no holes that any party can take advantage of. A mediation attorney or family lawyer also mediate between both parties so that they could agree on a new arrangement.
Talk to one of our divorce lawyers in San Luis Obispo, CA to understand better the valid causes for court order modifications and to know your legal options in seeking out a court order modification.
After knowing about the grounds for filing court order modifications, the next thing you will need to know are the types of modifications that the court may newly order to address these grounds. Understanding both the grounds and the possible results will take a bit of technical legal knowledge, so it is best to consult with a family law attorney to better understand these technicalities.
Court Order Modifications
In general, the court will make modifications for the benefit of both parties, or anyone that may be involved in the two parties’ setup, such as a child. These modifications can come in the form of changes in custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, family support, or property division.
Custody and Visitation Modifications
Custody and visitation arrangements are modified for the sole purpose of developing an environment that is conducive for the child and in the best interest of the child (California Family Code § 3022). These modifications can be sought by either parent at any time.
In general, these sorts of modifications are sought as a result of changing circumstances which can include:
- A parent wanting to move a significant distance from where the child lives (called move away cases),
- One parent is not being a responsible or dutiful parent such as in the case of substance abuse or consistently not getting the child to school on time,
- A change in the parental preference of the child,
- The non-custodial parent moving closer to where the custodial parent lives,
- Changes in the work schedule of the custodial or non-custodial parent.
Child Support Order Modification
If you, as a parent, believe that you need more support in raising your child, you can file for a motion for the court to increase the support the other parent gives you. This is especially effective if you can show the court that it is in the best interest of your child.
Furthermore, child support orders are based on the California child support guidelines. As a result, if there are any changes to these guidelines, or if the court deems it necessary, it can order to modify the current child support order independent of parental requests.
Spousal Support Order Modification
The amount of spousal support can be modified (increased or decreased) until the end of the support period previously established (California Family Code §§ 3603, 3651(c), 4333, 4335). It, however, is not retroactive, meaning changes enacted now will not affect any amount of support that you have already received or given in the past.
Spousal support can only be changed on the basis of court order terms, except in cases where the jurisdiction to award support has been reserved.
Family Support Order Modification
Family support is essentially child support and spousal support rolled into one. This is done to lessen tax fees. Changes to family support are usually brought about by changes in circumstances. If there is enough reason to justify a change, the family support order can be modified as a whole, or separate change orders can be made for child support and spousal support.
Property Division Order Modification
Once property division is finalized during a divorce, it can no longer be modified by the divorce court, but it can be rescinded by a set-aside motion under California Family Code § 2120 and the California Civil Procedure § 473(b). Additionally, if you discover after the divorce that there was an asset that wasn’t disclosed when the divorce was in motion, you can file for the division of the non-disclosed asset.
Consult with our San Luis Obispo Modification Orders Attorney!
The law allows for you to file for modifications in court orders in the hope that you, along with your children, can live in settings conducive for your growth as an individual. The law allows for changes to be made in old court orders because it recognizes that our day-to-day situations may change.
If you think that the old court ruling following your divorce is no longer beneficial to your current situation, don’t hesitate to talk to one of our modification orders attorneys at 805 Law Group. Our San Luis Obispo County attorneys will help you understand your legal options to pursue a better life and to protect what matters most.
Call us today to schedule a family law consultation with our trusted family lawyers in San Luis Obispo, CA and SF Bay area.