What Do I Need to Know About Post Judgment Modifications for My California Divorce?

Often times circumstances change for one or both spouses after the divorce has been finalized and a divorce decree issued in a California divorce. If this is the case with your divorce, then a post judgment modification may be in order, and you should consult a San Diego Divorce attorney to ensure that you are not sitting on your rights.

There are various ways in which judgments can require modification, but in every scenario there must be a “significant change in circumstances.” Significant changes can be both good and bad, and in either case the best interest of the child is the paramount concern of a California Family Court.

One situation necessitating custody modification is when the child begins spending more time with the non-custodial parent. Here, the non-custodial parent effectively becomes the custodial parent, and a formal recognition of this fact would be essential to ensure the non-custodial parent asserts his or her rights. In other cases, a non-custodial parent moves closer to the child, and thus has more opportunities to visit with the child, necessitating a change in visitation rights. There are also those unfortunate cases in which one of the parents is guilty of irresponsible parenting, requiring the child be removed from that household. This typically involves drug use by the parent or the child, school attendance issues, or a child or parent’s troubles with the law.

Any time there is a change in custodial rights or visitation, there will usually be a change in child support obligations as well. So when a child begins spending more time with the non-custodial parent, this could reduce the payment amount that parent is required to make. In those cases where the child chooses to move in with a non-custodial parent, that parent would then be entitled to receive child support payments for that particular child rather than making payments, and therefore become the custodial parent.

Another way in which child support obligations can be modified is in those situations involving a significant change in the financial circumstances of one or both of the parents. If a parent paying child support loses his or her job, then the support payments can be significantly reduced, sometimes to zero. If you find yourself in this predicament, then immediate action is required since California courts do not allow for any retroactive modification of support payments. You should also be aware that if you resign from your job of your own volition, in other words quit, this will not absolve you of your responsibility to continue making payments since your unemployment is the result of your own actions.

If you are making or receiving child support payments and feel that you are entitled to a modification, it is important to consult an experienced attorney who can assist you and ensure that your rights are met. Our firm offers both a complimentary and confidential consultation in our office for up to 30 minutes so that these issues, and other issues regarding child support, can be discussed. Please feel free to contact us online, or by calling toll-free 800-ROY-ISIT (769-4748) if you have questions about child support modifications in San Diego.


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