Handling the Challenge of Post-Judgment Modifications

Adapting to Life’s Changes with a Divorce Decree Modification

Life continues after a divorce, and the agreement that worked at first may not make sense anymore. In these circumstances, it is best to formally amend your court order. As an experienced family law attorney, Paula Goforth can help you make legally-binding post-judgment modifications.

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Modifying A Court Order When Family Circumstances Change

After the court issues an order regarding child custody or financial support, the judge still has jurisdiction over your case. The law recognizes that circumstances change over time, and what might work well the day a judge signs your order may not work so well in the future. The court holds onto the right to make changes when needed, but only in certain circumstances.

At Goforth Family Law & Mediation, I help clients who are facing a change in circumstances with their family law orders in San Diego County and surrounding areas. Whether it is you or your former spouse or partner requesting the change, I can guide you through the process, advocating for your best interests. As a lawyer certified by the California State Board of Legal Specialization as a family law legal specialist, I understand the law and the requirements needed for such changes.

Making Changes To Child and Spousal Support

Modifying a child support order also requires a significant change in circumstances. These changes may relate to:

All of these factors affect how child support is calculated in California. A slight change in any of these may not warrant a modification, but a significant change might. Be aware that the paying parent is still obligated to make the court-ordered payments until the court issues a new order, even if that parent is no longer employed.

Modification of spousal support, or alimony, can be more complicated. Some types of spousal support come with certain requirements or conditions, such as attempting to become self-sufficient through education or work. The paying spouse may allege the receiving spouse has failed to meet those conditions. The paying spouse can also argue a significant change in circumstances, such as a loss of income.

Making Changes To Custody And Parenting Time Orders

There are many reasons you may need to change a custody arrangement or parenting time order. One of the most difficult is when one parent moves to another city or state after a divorce. In order to make the change, the court will look at whether there has been a “significant change” in circumstances. They want to give children stability, so they will not change the order without good reason and only do so if it is in the child’s best interest. If the judge decides that a change is warranted, they will sign a new order.

Do You Need Help With Enforcement?

In some circumstances, you may have to deal with a spouse who is not complying with the order. Whether you need help enforcing a custody arrangement or a financial support order, the situation can be very frustrating. You have options, however. You may need to go back to the negotiating table or request help from the police. In extreme cases, you may need to file with the court. I can help you determine what type of intervention might work best in your situation with the least amount of disruption for your child.

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A Family Law Expert for Post-Judgment Modifications

I am family law attorney Paula J. Goforth. With over 20 years of experience, I am ready to help you through your order modification case. Call my office or schedule a consultation online today.

Do You Have Questions About Post-Judgment Modifications?

Below Are Some Common Questions about Divorce Decree Modifications

Your family law court order is a legal agreement that spells out the requirements and expectations of your divorce. When changing circumstances like a lost job or an out-of-state move make it impossible to keep the agreement, you should think about legally modifying the order.

If your financial circumstances have changed, a post-judgment modification can reduce your alimony payments. The court can make a change if your salary has dropped or your ex-spouse’s salary has increased significantly. However, you are responsible for payments until the new court order goes into effect.

Rules about child custody depend on your family law court order. If your ex-spouse has sole physical and legal custody, then they are empowered to make decisions on your children’s behalf. If you have joint custody, you may need to modify your divorce decree.

In California, proof of cohabitation may be grounds to amend your court order. Following this process will require proof that your spouse is receiving financial support from another person.

Minor changes to your visitation plan usually do not require a post-judgment modification. You should consult with a family law attorney to decide the best course of action.

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Dealing with family court issues are easier with a skilled partner to guide you. Attorney Paula J. Goforth has over 20 years of experience helping couples with family law services.

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Divorce is an important decision and a difficult process. As an experienced family law attorney, Paula Goforth can help you through this challenging time with respect and dignity.



Attorney Paula J. Goforth has over 20 years of experience in helping people resolve their legal issues outside of the courtroom. Third-party mediation encourages communication and cooperation. It provides a respectful and calm way to come to an agreement.