The ink is dry on your divorce papers, and you are looking forward to a blissful life void of any further issues with your ex-spouse, right? While that’s the perfect type of existence for many of us to wish for, often times, conflicts arise post-divorce that require further assistance from the courts in the form of post-judgment modification. Often times, the most common reasons clients file for post-judgment modifications are when issues involving child support orders, spousal support order, or child custody visitation schedules arise. When the former spouses are unable to come to an amicable agreement regarding these issues, it becomes necessary to seek the assistance of either a Lawyer or a mediator.
Often times, most individuals do not know the first steps they need to take in order to bring about the modification of an existing order. It’s important to understand that generally, it is possible to seek a modification of child custody, spousal support, or child support orders at any time post-divorce if there has been a change in circumstances since the divorce was final. Keeping the child’s best interest in mind is always crucial following a divorce, as sometimes clients may find that their ex-spouse runs to court the first time they find themselves unhappy with an action the other spouse took. Remember; the courts are there to settle genuine issues involving child custody and post-judgment modification, and not to run interference whenever either party has issue with the other parent over issues not involving the children.
If you are working with a mediator in changing a post-judgment modification order, you will need to provide information to the court that demonstrates a change of circumstances which will establish evidence to back up your claim for a modification. For example, if you are seeking to change an existing custody order, some of the information that would support that change would be if the non-custodial parents work schedule has undergone a significant change, the child’s parental preference has changed, or the fact that one parent is being “irresponsible” (such as not getting the child to school on time, allowing the child to miss large amount of time from school, not providing adequate care for the child, etc.) While these are all valid reasons to apply for a modification of an existing order, it’s important to work with your mediator to ensure that your proof is proper and valid.
In the event you are seeking a modification of an existing child support order, there are also factors to take into consideration. The court has the ultimate decision of changing the existing child support order, either increasing or decreasing the support order. Under California state law, the state guidelines dictate the amount of support to be paid by the non-custodial parent, factoring in many considerations such as the income of both parties and the amount of time given to each parent for visitation. If any of your existing living or financial considerations change, the child support may be modified under state law.
Any time a change is necessitated, it is very important to make sure that you follow proper protocol and take the steps necessary to resolve the problem with the child’s best interest in mind. Working with a California mediator can help you better understand your rights and obligations under California state law, and your mediator will be able to help you navigate the paperwork and legalities involved in having your post-judgment modification granted.