Modifying Divorce Settlements in Orange County

You may have already gone through the whole process with a mediator and/or in a court to determine the best arrangement for your family, but situations change. Either you or your ex-spouse may have lost a job, the child may have grown and require a different parenting plan, or one of you desires to relocate. There are numerous reasons why your current parenting plan, spousal support, or child support arrangements may now be inadequate or unfair. California courts are rather understanding about the many valid needs for change, so filing a motion is easy enough, but you certainly will want legal assistance to aid you through the whole rigmarole of establishing legally binding agreements, especially if this means going through court again.

How can I change my parenting plan in California?

If you feel that the current child custody arrangement is unfair to your child, then you will need to file a motion with the court and establish that there has been a change that calls for a modified parenting plan. For example, as a child gets older, he or she may have different needs, or the child's emotions or ability in school may be adversely affected by the current setup. One or both parents may want to relocate, a parent may fail to hold up an end of the agreement, or one parent may have a new significant other who is causing trouble. In the case of a parent wanting to move away with a child, it must be shown that this move would greatly benefit the child.

Demonstrating a need for custody change is simple enough; it is resolving the issues that can be costly both emotionally and financially. These are touchy subjects that affect visitation, father's rights, and perhaps grandparent's rights. You want this matter handled quickly and amicably to help your family determine the best arrangement of child custody. Experienced and caring family lawyers can help you find an optimal resolution.

How can I modify spousal/child support payments?

Changing Spousal Support

If you need to change spousal support, then either both parties can sign a modified agreement to present to a judge, or a motion can be filed to have the matter dealt with in court. Some reasons why you may be able to change spousal support include:

  • Job/income loss from the paying spouse
  • Remarriage of spouse receiving support
  • The spouse receiving support failed to act in good faith toward reaching self-sufficiency

If there is a valid reason to change spousal support, then you if you need to get a court hearing, you will need to fill out a form to get started, and then you will have to fill out further forms, working with court clerks, then serving your papers on your former spouse. In court, you will need proof of income and circumstance changes. If you no longer need spousal support or cannot afford to pay the full amount anymore, then you should get help from an experienced spousal support lawyer who can smooth out the process.

Changing Child Support

To modify child support, you will need to prove a change in circumstances, unless the child support that was agreed upon or court-ordered is not according to the guideline amount. Some justifications for changing child support include income change for either or both parents, job loss, or incarceration of a parent. If the time spent with each parent has been altered for the child, or a parent now has a child from a different relationship, these are also factors that can affect child support.

If both parties can agree, then they can sign the new arrangement and bring it before a judge to sign. If no written agreement can be reached, then a motion must be filed with the court requesting a modification. Support changes can only affect from the day of filing, so the longer you delay, the more you will have to abide by a support setup that no longer works. It is important to act as soon as possible, and to have knowledgeable legal counsel to ensure that your family's best interests are being preserved.

Find Reliable Counsel from a Mission Viejo Divorce Lawyer

When it comes to determining these important issues that affect you and your family, it is vital that you have legal counsel to help you ensure that your family's rights are safeguarded. At The Hunter Law Group, we are committed to finding the best arrangement for your family. If that means current plans need to change, then we can help successfully guide you through the legal paths to achieving that optimal solution. We have over a decade of experience in divorce law that we could put to work for you. To find out more about how we can help you, fill out a case evaluation and contact our firm today!