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Articles Posted in Post-Judgment Modification

What to Do If You Suspect Your Ex of Neglecting or Abusing Your Child

What to Do If You Suspect Your Ex of Neglecting or Abusing Your Child

It is a devastating realization when a parent finds evidence that their children have been neglected or abused. When the mistreatment occurs at the hands of a close family member who is taking care of them, such as the other parent, you can feel powerless. It is vital for a divorced parent to be aware of the steps they should take to ensure their children’s safety if they discover that their child has been abused or neglected in any way by the other parent during visitation or shared custody time.

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Important Factors That Influence Child Custody Determination in California

Important Factors That Influence Child Custody Determination in California

Child custody disputes are some of the most challenging legal cases any parent can face. Married parents who decide to divorce will need to resolve child custody through the family court system, and unmarried parents who separate and intend to raise their children separately will need enforceable family court orders for custody as well. Whatever your situation entails, it’s vital to understand the child custody determination process and what a judge must evaluate in making these determinations.

While it’s possible to resolve many divorce-related issues privately through alternative dispute resolution, this does not apply to child custody. The California family court system is legally obligated to protect children’s best interests affected by court rulings. For example, if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse and co-parent intend to take advantage of mediation to resolve your divorce, you must be prepared to spend time in court to settle child custody.

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What to Do If You Discover Important Information After Finalizing Your Divorce

What to Do If You Discover Important Information After Finalizing Your Divorce

Any divorce has the potential to escalate into a heated legal battle between the divorcing spouses. The emotional stress and tension that divorce can generate can easily encourage a divorcing spouse to feel as though they just need to get through the process as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the pressure to finalize a divorce as soon as possible can easily cause a spouse to overlook key details of their divorce, ultimately resulting in an imbalanced or materially unfair divorce order. This is especially true when a divorced spouse discovers important information after their divorce has been finalized that should have been considered during their divorce case.

In the event you discover any information that you believe should have been addressed during your divorce, you should prepare for modification proceedings. When new information would have changed the outcome of your divorce, it’s important to bring it to the court’s attention and have your divorce order modified accordingly. It’s also possible to face more serious legal proceedings if you discover that your ex engaged in serious misconduct. Modification proceedings can potentially allow for changes to child support, child custody, and alimony determinations.

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How Can an Attorney Help With Family Court Order Modification?

How Can an Attorney Help With Family Court Order Modification?

Life can pose unpredictable challenges for anyone. When changes in your lifestyle occur due to forces beyond your control, some of these changes can have a material impact on any standing family court orders that you must observe. For example, if you have a family court order requiring you to pay child support and you lose your job due to company-wide layoffs, you may not be able to meet your child support obligation by no fault of your own. When these things happen, and you are concerned about your ability to abide by a standing family court order, it’s vital to understand how the modification process can help your situation.

Family law is unique in that it is possible to alter your family court order without a complex, time-consuming appeal process. Instead, modification allows any party beholden to a family court order to request reasonable changes to their family court order through a simplified process. While this may seem straightforward at first, consulting an experienced California family law attorney before filing your petition for modification is a wise choice. Your attorney can help you determine whether you have grounds for a modification, guide you through the process, and may even have suggestions for other alterations you could reasonably request that could make it easier for you to manage your court-ordered obligations in the future.

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Making a Change in Divorce Judgements Due to a Change of Circumstances

Making-a-Change-in-Divorce-Judgements-Due-to-a-Change-of-Circumstances

Life can change in an instant, and individuals who are divorced are not immune. In fact, divorced people frequently experience changes in their life circumstances that may necessitate changes in terms of their divorce regarding spousal support, child support, or child custody and visitation. If you are in a similar situation that has made the terms of your divorce untenable, it can be difficult to know where to start. However, it is important to know that you are not alone.

The first step toward changing a divorce judgment is to request a hearing. A hearing allows you to prove in court that you have experienced a significant lifestyle change since the time that your divorce was settled. The courts do not provide a specific outline for what constitutes a change of circumstances, but they will consider various factors that may affect the terms of your divorce.

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Acceptable Grounds for Family Court Order Modification in California

Acceptable-Grounds-for-Family-Court-Order-Modification-in-California

Family law is unique in many ways. Perhaps most notably, the family law system offers a more streamlined alternative to the standard appeal process when an individual accountable to a family court order believes the order to be unreasonable or untenable due to recent events. Family law acknowledges that life is unpredictable. Due to the nature of most family court orders, the terms of an order may not be as reasonable in the future as they are at the time they are signed into effect by a judge.

If you have recently experienced any major life events that have materially influenced your standing family court order, the modification process can allow you to make simple changes that reflect the recent changes in your life. This does not mean you can repeatedly pester the court until they modify your family court order to suit your exact preferences. There are certain conditions that must be satisfied if the court is to approve of any proposed modification.

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Under What Circumstances Can a Child Custody Agreement be Modified?

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Going through a divorce can be an exceedingly long, stressful process, even when the separation was relatively amicable. During the proceedings, many decisions must be made, including child custody and child support. Once these have been finalized, it can be tempting to consider the matter fully resolved, but when there are children involved, that is rarely the case. There are a significant number of unexpected circumstances that can crop up after you’ve settled your custody agreement, ranging from changes in your life or your spouse’s life to potential new needs of your child. At the same time, modifying your agreement is not the simplest process.

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AdobeStock_323666821-scaledAlthough a divorce in California could be finalized in as quickly as 6 months, if the former spouses have children together they are stuck with each other for 18 years, and longer!  The truth is that child custody and visitation issues linger long after the final divorce papers are signed.  This is because as children grow older their needs and activities change.  Similarly, throughout the years parents move on with their separate lives and some acquire new jobs or partners.  Due to these factors, a visitation schedule that was implemented at the beginning of the case may not always work for the family a few years later.  This blog will explore how parents can request a modification to the current visitation schedule exercised by their family. Continue reading

The other day I was asked, “Why do I need to pay child support to my ex-wife if we care for our children equally?”  This is a great question that requires some understanding of both California law and public policy.  At first blush it may seem unreasonable and unfair that one parent must pay the other parent child support even though both parents equally care, house, feed, and pay for their children’s livelihood and well-being.

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Let’s start by looking at California Family Code section 4053, which is the statute that provides courts with overarching principals to consider when implementing a child support order.  This statues states, in part, that “a parent’s first and principal obligation is to support the parent’s minor children according to the parent’s circumstances and station in life.” (emphasis added.)  The statute also states that, “the [child support] guideline takes into account each parent’s actual income and level of responsibility for the children” and that “each parent should pay for the support of the children according to the parent’s ability.” (emphasis added.)  The statute also explains that child support “should minimize significant disparities in the children’s living standards in the two homes” and that “children should share in the standard of living of both parents.” (emphasis added.) Continue reading

One of the hot button issues in any divorce case is spousal support.  Standard questions that might float through a party’s mind include, but are not limited to, “what party will pay support?”, “how much support will I pay/receive?”, and “how long will I pay/receive support for?”  This blog will focus on spousal support duration and termination.  For information regarding how spousal support is calculated, please review one of our other blog posts or call our office for more information.                AdobeStock_28412700-300x292

In California, “except on written agreement of the parties to the contrary or a court order terminating spousal support, the court retains jurisdiction indefinitely in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the parties where the marriage is of long duration.” (See California Family Code section 4336(a)(emphasis added.)  Pursuant to Family Code section 4336(b), a marriage of long duration includes any marriage (from the date of marriage to the date of separation) lasting 10 years or longer.  Therefore, in California, the court generally retains jurisdiction to make spousal support orders for marriages lasting 10 years or longer. Continue reading

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