After a marriage dissolution takes place, there may need to be a change in visitation or support arrangements. Our attorney at Tamera C. Trindade, CFLS* Attorney and Counselor at Law, is a certified family law specialist and experienced in representing clients with post-judgment actions, including modifications and enforcement.
Many family law decisions can be modified because as most parents know, life is often unpredictable and few children move from toddlers to teenagers without some significant changes in their tastes, activities or behavior. To make changes to a child support order or alter the time-sharing arrangements of a custody order, the ‘change’ generally must be significant. For example, they may include:
- Change in job
- A new work schedule
- Location of residence
Modification to a child custody order may be necessary to deal with children’s schedules as they participate in new or more complex school activities and sports.
Modifications to child support are not retroactive. If you lose your job and are unable to pay child support, filing a modification as soon as possible lessens the amount of money you owe.
However, it is important to note, courts also will expect you to find new employment at a comparable salary, and if you are unable to find similar employment, you will be expected to provide a very comprehensive explanation, well supported by facts and evidence. Without this, the court is unlikely to agree to reduce your payment obligation.
Property Division Issues?
It is also important to recognize that property division orders are rarely modified. It is critical that your division of marital property is done accurately the first time, as in most cases, you would need to demonstrate with substantial evidence that your former spouse committed actual fraud with regard to their financial disclosures. This can be a very expensive and time-consuming matter, and it is far more efficient and cost-effective to deal with this issue correctly in the first instance.
If your child’s parent has violated the terms of the custody or support agreement, it is vital to file a motion to enforce this court order. Our legal team will help you navigate the California legal system in the instance that you encounter a lack of cooperation from your ex-spouse with:
- Child custody or visitation
- Child support payments
- Spousal support
If your former spouse owes back child support, it may be tempting to refuse custody or visitation access to your children. It is illegal to deny visitation. Such tactics can jeopardize your credibility with the court and your custody rights. We will work to create a strategy to achieve your support payments without that risk.
*Certified Family Law Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.