Can I Modify My Divorce Decree in California?

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When you sign the final divorce decree, you may feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. However, this is not always the case. In many instances, you may find that you want or need to adjust the terms and conditions of your divorce agreement. This process can be somewhat complex, so it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney who can guide you through these times. The following blog explores what steps you can take with the help of a Los Angeles post judgment modifications attorney to make the necessary changes to your divorce decree.

Why Would I Need to Change My Divorce Decree?

Though most people believe their divorce is set in stone upon its finalization, this is not always the case. In many instances, things can happen that require one parent to seek changes to the previously agreed upon or court-ordered conditions.

It’s important to understand the differences between an appeal and a modification. A modification is a change to the terms and conditions of the divorce decree while an appeal essentially revokes the degree. These are incredibly hard to obtain due to the serious nature of appealing a court’s decision.

Most commonly, the need for change revolves around child support, child custody, or alimony payments. This can be due to the child’s needs changing as they grow older or because of job loss. However, the paying spouse can also seek a modification to cease alimony payments if they find their spouse is cohabitating with another person.

You should also know that unless it’s explicitly allowed in your agreement, you cannot change terms around property division or how debt is divided.

What Should I Do if I Want to Make a Modification?

If you need to modify your divorce agreement, it’s important to understand your options for this matter. Generally, the first thing you should do is discuss the matter with your ex-spouse, if you are on civil terms. You may be able to avoid filing a petition with the court, and instead file what’s known as a consent order. The judge will then sign this, making it legally binding.

However, if you cannot discuss the matters with your ex-spouse, you can file a modification of divorce judgment. To do so, you’ll file the necessary paperwork and supporting evidence through the courts for the judge to review before issuing a decision.

When you need to change your divorce terms, ensuring you have an experienced attorney to help you through this process is critical. Unfortunately, without the proper guidance, you are likely to make an error that leads to your petition being denied. As such, this can put you in unfortunate financial circumstances, as it drags the modification out. Luckily, the team at the Zitser Family Law Group is ready to assist. We understand how confusing it can be to change the terms of your divorce agreement after finalization, which is why we are here to help. Connect with us today to learn more.

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