Modification of Child Support, Visitation, Custody
Los Angeles Family Attorneys
Modification of child support, visitation or child custody is a change to an existing court order necessitated by a change in circumstances since the original judgment was made.
Following a final decree of paternity (a lawsuit brought to ascertain that a particular man is the father of her child and thus must provide financial support for the child), divorce decree (marriage dissolution) or child custody order, one or both of the parties could experience a change in circumstances.
Certain parts of the divorce decree, such as asset and debt division, or a paternity decree are not subject to modification. However, other parts are-especially when it comes to the children.
In order to obtain a changed order for child support, visitation or custody there must be a “material change in circumstances” from the time the current order regarding the child was issued. A material change in circumstances is a permanent change of important facts or circumstances.
The Family Court would then conduct hearings based on the new evidence and modify the order it deems necessary. For a modification in child support, the Court would determine if there has been a change in incomes of the parents resulting in a new calculation of child support.
There can also be modification of child custody or child visitation orders. The Court will review the conduct of the parents in relationship to their main priority-the best interests of the children. A modification could be made in any of these situations: questionable living conditions of the custodial home, child neglect or mistreatment or geographical relocation of a parent.
Another form of material change is financial conditions such as job loss, new employment at a different pay scale (either lower or higher), changes in the amount spent supporting the child or a large inheritance. The change in the child support amount could be due to large medical expenses, education or other needs.
A modification can be made in two ways:
- Stipulation – a written agreement made by parties in a judicial proceeding
- Court hearing
John H. Spurgeon Attorney has an extensive practice in the areas of modification of child support, child visitation, and child custody in California divorce and paternity cases. To speak with one of our family lawyers serving the greater Los Angeles area about this or other family law issue, please contact us today at 626-440-9518 for a complementary confidential consultation.