DO YOU NEED TO MODIFY A DIVORCE JUDGMENT?
All parties involved in a divorce judgment must follow the terms of the judge’s decision. However, that does not mean that a judge’s decision is unchangeable. Indeed, it may be possible to modify a court’s decision at a later time.
When parties ask to modify a divorce judgment, the modifications usually relate to spousal support, child support, custody arrangements and visitation schedules.
Here’s what you can do to modify a divorce decree
Let’s say you got a divorce seven years ago when your child was only 3 years of age. Now your child is 10, and an educational psychologist has determined that he or she suffers from a learning disability. The learning disability requires expensive treatment and care.
Your spouse must pay you a certain amount of money in child support each month, and this amount is not sufficient to pay for your child’s expensive learning disability therapies. You need your spouse to contribute more money so you can pay these expenses, but your spouse refuses.
In this circumstance, you may be able to file a “motion to modify” your divorce decree. You will file this motion with the court that issued your original judgment.
In the family law setting, such a request is usually made by filing a “motion to modify” the divorce decree or judgment. This motion is usually filed with the same court where the divorce was originally filed (and where the divorce judgment was issued).
After issuing your “motion to modify,” your ex-spouse will have the opportunity to issue his or her response regarding why the court should not modify the decree. It’s likely that you will then appear before the court with your spouse for oral arguments, or simply to answer the judge’s questions.
Not all motions to modify a divorce will be successful
California divorcees should organize their motions to modify a divorce decree carefully. The more you understand about the law, and the circumstances under which a court will agree to modify a divorce decree, the better chances you will have of success.