Our blog story begins with the filling, in California Superior Court, the necessary paperwork for a Dissolution of Marriage, or Dissolution of Domestic Partnership. Time passes, and we pick up our story just after the court has granted the requested final, or, in legal terminology, absolute divorce decree. Now the parties can go their separate ways.
Unfortunately, things in life are rarely as clear-cut or simple as we would like them to be. Even after a divorce takes place, people may continue to have conflicts or disagreements. Life changes occur, unforeseen circumstances come up, and that presumed “final” divorce decree suddenly needs to be modified.
Some of the most often-occurring issues that prompt a request for modifications after a divorce include:
- Spousal support modification
- Family support modifications
- Child support payments
- Child custody/placement and visitation arrangements
- The non-custodial parent’s work schedule changed
- A non-custodial parent moved closer to the other parent
- The child’s parental preference changed
- Parental irresponsibility, such as not getting the child to school on time, substance abuse issues, etc.
- “Move away cases” – when a parent wants to relocate outside of the geographic area in which the child resides
- Division of property and/or assets. For instance, it’s possible for a judgment to be rescinded in a set-aside motion under the California Code of Civil Procedure § 473(b) or under California Family Code § 2120 et seq., if an asset was not disclosed and you learn about it after the divorce
It’s important to be aware that requesting modifications is not something to do on a whim, or after one argument or disagreement. The court’s criteria are more serious and take into consideration recurring problems and offenses, not simple differences of opinion or just one party’s desire to punish the other.
An experienced family law attorney can help you identify, and determine, what are potentially actionable reasons for requesting post-decree modifications.
If you believe you have reason to request a post-divorce modification, please consult a knowledgeable family law attorney at Dinnebier & Demmerle, close by in Tustin, Orange County. We are here to help.