Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of a long divorce process. After months in court and depending on your situation, there is a judgment in place for child custody, visitation, property division, child support and/or spousal support. If you don’t have kids or are not required to pay spousal support, your case is usually over. However, if you have children or if spousal support is part of your divorce, there is the possibility that you may be spending additional time in court down the road. Child custody orders, visitation orders, child support orders, and spousal support orders are all capable of modification post-judgment. Read on to learn more…
Child Custody Modifications
Child custody, visitation, and child support can be changed any time between when the final judgment is issued and when the children turn 18 (or older, in the case of child support). In order to change custody or visitation the moving party, or the parent who wants to change the custody or visitation arrangement, must prove two elements: (1) that there has been a change in circumstances and (2) that the new, proposed custody and visitation arrangement is in the best interests of the children. Some changes, like a simple switching of days in a visitation schedule, do not require these showings. However, if a change in custody or a major change in visitation is sought, the two elements must be shown. Changes in circumstances can include one parent not using their parenting time, a parent moving, a parent unable to parent due to illness, drug or alcohol addiction, or a change in the working hours of one parent.
With custody and visitation modifications it is important to remember that child support amounts are based in part on how much time a parent spends with their children. Therefore, child support can be modified based on a change in income or time share.
Modification of Spousal Support
Modification of spousal support can be more complicated than child support modifications. Spousal support may be modified until the end of the support period established by the court unless the order is non modifiable. Spousal support modification is complex and if you are interested in modifying your spousal support order you should reach out to a family law attorney.
Just because you have a divorce judgment does not mean that judgment can’t be modified. Judgments pertaining to child custody, visitation, child support or spousal support are modifiable. If you are interested in modifying your judgment, you should contact a family law attorney.
For more information about the divorce process, contact the expert Los Angeles family lawyers at Walzer Melcher LLP today.