Santa Ana Child Support Modification Lawyers
Family law issues like child support, spousal support, and child custody are often solved with a court order issued by a judge. While following the regulations laid out in these orders is essential, they are not always permanent. Court orders can be modified in certain circumstances to fit changing scenarios or new priorities. However, petitioning for a modification in court can quickly become a complex process, so it’s essential to consult with a family law lawyer beforehand.
At Sarieh Law Offices, ALC, we have experience assisting clients who wish to modify their court orders. From child custody to spousal support payments, we know how to help you. If you would like to modify an order or you’ve received a request to modify an order, call us today at 714-694-7723. We will review your case and develop a legal strategy to get the outcome you deserve.
What Kind of Family Law Issues Can Be Modified?
Not all family law issues can be modified. However, there are some that most courts will accept modifications for in extreme circumstances.
While this can vary based on the judge and the court, the following orders can typically be modified:
- Child support
- Child custody
- Child visitation
- Spousal support
- Property division
- Domestic violence orders
Other orders from the court may be able to be modified, depending on your circumstances. If you have a court order and are uncertain whether the terms can be changed, contact our team today. We will review your case and inform you of your legal options.
When Can Orders Be Modified?
An extreme change in circumstances must be proven to modify any court order. For instance, if a parent would like to modify a child support order, they would need to prove an increase or decrease in income. Similarly, to modify spousal support, a former spouse must provide evidence of an increase or decrease in income.
It is important to note that any decrease in income will be scrutinized heavily by the court. If an individual quits their job voluntarily, for instance, and reports a reduction in income, their order will likely not be modified in court. In most situations, a judge will only issue a modification under circumstances outside the individual’s control.
Child custody arrangements can also be modified if either parent has a change in circumstances. However, the parent must prove that any change is in the child’s best interest.
A child custody order may be modified in the following circumstances:
- The custodial parent is moving away
- The custodial parent is not performing their parental duties
- There is neglect or abuse by the custodial parent
- The child is not thriving under the care of the custodial parent
- Co-parenting has broken down under joint custody
- A child requests to live with the non-custodial parent
- There have been improvements to the non-custodial parent’s situation
In child custody rulings, unemployment is not necessarily a significant enough change of circumstances to issue a modification. In most cases, a parent’s financial hardships will not be used against them in custody rulings. However, if a job loss causes the child’s quality of care to diminish (for instance, they suffer malnutrition or homelessness), then a court order may be modified.
When Can Orders Not Be Modified?
In California, some court orders are labeled as “non-modifiable.” Some individuals prefer to opt for a non-modifiable order because it can present tax advantages for spousal support and child support payments. However, as its name suggests, the court cannot modify non-modifiable orders. Similarly, some decisions in court orders cannot be changed, like the division of community property. This is because they are considered final.
What Should You Do if You Are Notified of a Modification?
If your co-parent or former spouse has filed to modify a court order you are involved in, you will likely receive a notification from the court. If you do, it’s essential to consult an experienced lawyer to review the modification order and how it will affect your rights. If you contact our team, we can help you research the law and order to understand whether it can be modified. Then, our team will help you prepare your response to the request and file it with the proper authorities. Finally, our team will attend the modification hearing with you to plead your case and advocate for you in court.
In some cases, you can negotiate for a minor modification rather than an extreme one that is requested. For instance, if your child’s other parent would like to stop paying child support completely, you could compromise and agree to a lower payment amount rather than no payments at all. A judge may consider your response if it is reasonable and respectful.
How Can a Family Law Attorney Help Me?
Modifying a court order can be difficult but can be done with strong legal help. Child support payments, spousal support payments, custody agreements, and others may be changed if your life circumstances shift. Convincing a judge of these changing circumstances can be challenging, but it is much easier when you have an experienced family law attorney on your side.
If you have lost your job or have other extreme circumstances, our team at Sarieh Law Offices, ALC, can assist you in petitioning to modify an order. We will compile evidence of your changing circumstances and present it to the court to get your desired outcome. If you are being presented with a modification that you would like to fight, we can assist you by filing your response and sharing your thoughts with the court. Call us today at 714-694-7723 for a free consultation.