Life is full of unexpected events, and your life has probably changed a great deal since your divorce. Your child may have different needs. You or your ex may have new jobs or live in a new location. These changes can make your child custody and visitation, child support or spousal support order unable to meet your needs today. If things have changed in your life, you may want to consider a modification to your court order.

Modifying a court order

While your child support, child custody or spousal support order represents a final judgment by the court, it is possible to request a post-judgment order modification. Under California law, modifications are made only when one party experiences a “substantial change of circumstances.” For child support orders, a material change in circumstances is a change of $50 per month or 20%. You can also request a modification if your previous child custody order no longer fits your child’s needs.

Many different changes in your life can result in a substantial change of circumstances. Common reasons for modification include:

  • Promotions that cause an increase in income or a change in schedule
  • Job loss
  • Incarceration
  • Military deployment
  • Changes in your child’s needs, including medical emergencies or increased school costs
  • An illness that changes one parent’s ability to care for the child

If things have changed in your life, speak to an attorney about requesting a modification to your court order. By modifying this order, you can create a new arrangement that suits your life today.