A divorce is not official until a final judgment has been made in a family law court, which will create a series of divorce orders. For example, a divorcing couple with children will likely need a child custody order, a child support order, a spousal support order, and more. Each order describes a set of rules that both spouses must follow until the order expires or indefinitely—but indefinitely doesn’t necessarily mean permanently.
Divorce orders can be modified when necessary or when the order’s content allows a modification. If circumstances change and an order’s requirements are no longer reasonable or tenable, then a modification should at least be considered with the help of a family lawyer. Typically, under a lawyer’s guidance, post-order modifications can be reached outside of court using mediation that fairly considers both spouses’ input and interests.
6 examples of when you might need a post-order modification are:
- Child’s best interests: The first and foremost reason why a family law court might approve a post-order modification is if the child’s best interests have changed. The court always wants to do whatever benefits a child of divorce the most. If you or your spouse show that changing a child support or child custody order would help your child, then it is more likely to be approved.
- Child becomes an adult: When a child turns 18, they are considered ‘legal adults’ in most contexts, including under family law. Many divorcing parents will include a clause in their divorce papers to revisit child custody and child support orders once their child is a legal adult. At that point, significant post-order modifications might be necessary, especially if the child intends to live independently.
- Career changes: Big changes in the noncustodial parent’s career can be the groundwork for post-order modifications. For example, if your work schedule was completely switched around, then a child custody order might need to be redone. Or if your income was significantly reduced, then child support payments could require major revisions.
- Relocation: Life doesn’t always keep you in the same place. Even if you have paid off your home, there might be any number of reasons why you need to abruptly move to a new county or state. If a relocation becomes needed, then a post-order modification will be needed, too, assuming you have children with your ex-spouse. Otherwise, probably not.
- Cooperative changes: Although the family law court usually does not want to make post-order modifications that aren’t strictly necessary, it is sometimes possible to convince the court to make a change that both spouses have agreed upon. Cooperation in these times is crucial for the court to accept such a request.
- Property buyout: When deciding on property division for large assets like real estate, you might originally decide to sell the house or co-own it. Later, though, it might become easier for everyone for just one spouse to be the owner. In such a situation, a post-order modification could be used to arrange a buyout, which involves one spouse paying the other their share of the property’s total value and then removing them from the deed.
For more information about post-order modifications and how they work in California, you can come to Alternative Divorce Solutions for legal help. We are a team of divorce mediators who focus on helping couples find the most peaceful paths to a happy life after marriage dissolution, which sometimes requires post-order changes. We often use out-of-court mediation to reach fair solutions for post-order modifications, whether it be about property division, child support, child custody, and so on.
With offices throughout California and virtual attorney sessions available, we can help you, no matter where in the state you call home. Contact us online or dial (949) 558-2624 now to get a free consultation.