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Divorce & Family Court Modifications

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Very rarely are the conditions of your life right now the same as what they will be in a couple of years from now. Life is constantly changing, and it changes substantially when a couple decides to divorce or dissolve a relationship through annulment or legal separation. This change is felt by the two parties and, most especially, the children. The changes made during a divorce, and the conditions that are legally stipulated in the terms of your divorce, are designed to fit the needs of you, your ex-spouse and any children that are involved in the process.

These changes, however, do not always apply to the circumstances of your life and that of your children in the years following the original establishment.

Common Causes of Modification

Gratefully, the law and Courts recognize that circumstances change and that people and situations change. Therefore, if you find yourself bound by a child support ruling that is now not appropriate for you or your ex-spouse or your children, there is something that can be done about it. Don't listen to your friends or family who may tell you it is something you have to "live with." The Courts are willing to look at the issue with an objective eye and look to make a modification if there are worthy grounds.

A key factor in any modification petition, however, is that of "just cause." That is why it is advisable to have a modifications attorney on your side who will know how to best present your newly found circumstances before the Court. The Courts are backed up and do not look kindly on frivolous use of the Court's time.

Modification of court orders may be necessary for spousal support, child support, child custody, and visitation. The need for change can come about because of such circumstances as the loss of a job, a change in a relationship, a new opportunity in another city or state, or because one parent wants more time with their children than was originally permitted in the divorce agreement that was settled upon.

Being able to respond to and accommodate changes that affect you and your family's future is important. When children grow, ex-spouses marry or move away to another state, or even another country, it is necessary for your protection, under the law, to modify these changes legally in order to create a divorce agreement that accurately reflects the current circumstances for all parties involved.

Do I really need to go through the court?

Sometimes, with the idea of being thrifty or congenial, individuals may feel that the relationship with their ex-spouse is so friendly they don't need a formal change. It seems unnecessary. They grow comfortable with the informal changes to custody or support arrangements and let them go unnoticed without finalizing them in a court of law. This is fine until tempers flare and old wounds are reopened. Parents may then find themselves back in court with an angry ex -spouse who has now decided to punish them for "violating the terms of the divorce." For this reason, it is imperative to take the necessary steps to protect you and your children, finalizing all relocation, custody, spousal or child support modifications that need to be made.

Without the use of a skilled attorney, you may not be fully aware of the depth of the options available to you in these circumstances. Did you know that if an ex-spouse announces that they will be relocating out of state with your children, for instance, the court can be petitioned to prevent such a move?

Or perhaps there is reason to modify the custody placement or amount of visitation. The court can also address a request to terminate child support when a child reaches emancipation or terminate or reduce alimony to a spouse who has remarried or is cohabiting. These and many more changes that are specific to your particular case may be addressed, and they should only be done so under the legal guidance of an experienced attorney.

Modifying Spousal Support Agreements

Divorces call for legal agreements to be made that will provide certain guidelines by which each spouse is expected to abide in their post-divorce days. The conditions of a divorce generally include if and how spousal support will be applied, as well as how custody and support of children will be applied for couples who have children. Generally, spousal support is determined by looking at the financial stability of each spouse and assessing whether or not one spouse may need monetary support in order to live comfortably after the dissolution of the marriage has been finalized.

Spousal support can be temporary or permanent depending on the circumstances involved; however, when these circumstances change, it may be necessary to amend the financial support that is currently being paid. Whether you no longer need the financial support being paid to you or the loss of a job or something similar no longer enables you to reasonably make support payments, legal professionals will need to be involved to modify the current agreement accordingly.

Modifying Child Support & Custody Agreements

One of the most important aspects involved in a divorce between parents is that of child custody and support. Determining which parent will be given the responsibility of custody (if either parent cannot agree on custody distribution or one parent is unfit for custody) is a sensitive topic. As such, it is an issue that sometimes remains even after the court has made a legal decision; when this is the case, one or both parents may later request a modification to this agreement in order to better fit the needs of themselves and their children.

Child custody agreements often spark the need for child support agreements, as it is unreasonable to assume that one parent will be able to financially bear the responsibility of supporting the children on their own. Child support will require that the non-custodial parent make payments to the custodial parent in order to financially contribute to the care of the children involved. When this support cannot be reasonably maintained, however, the agreement may need to be modified to accommodate for the financial wellbeing of all parties involved.

Get Help from The Law Offices of Marc E. Mitzner

In almost every circumstance, it is in your best interests, as well as the best interests of your children, to secure the legal assistance of a knowledgeable Newport Beach lawyer who can help protect your rights and provide the legal advocacy you need to pursue a modification to a previously established divorce agreement.

Whether you are looking to cease payments that are being made to you or you are no longer able to meet the financial responsibilities expected of you, turning to an experienced attorney for help is the first step that should be made. Instances that most often call for modification include changes such as a pay raises or pay demotions, job promotions or job demotions, higher expenses for the child (such as an unexpected medical expense), job losses or job gains, or a change in the agreed upon parenting plan.

Changing circumstances deserve to be recognized and accommodated for in your legal agreements, so contact a Newport Beach attorney to enact the process of making an official legal change as soon as possible.