Build your own website. Do it yourself websites.
Home Page Criminal Defense Family Law Attorneys & Staff Video Vault Resources contact

Modification of Child Custody/Visitation Orders

You may seek a modification of child custody and visitation orders at any time.  The court may find a visitation and/or child custody order modification “necessary or proper” if it’s in the child’s best interest [Ca Fam § 3022]. 

The parent who seeks the child custody modification will need to show the court a "significant change of circumstances" to support the modification request.

As a practical matter, many parents seek to change custody and have their request granted without showing a significant change of circumstances, or they or their attorneys create such a change of circumstances to justify their request.

Some common bases for seeking a change of custody include:

  • The non-custodial parent’s work schedule changed;
  • The non-custodial parent moved closer to the other parent;
  • Child’s preference—the child desired to live with or spend more time with the non-custodial parent; (link to child’s preference)
  • One parent is being an irresponsible parent—not getting child to school on time or doing poorly in school, substance abuse issues, etc.
  • A parent wants to re-locate outside of the geographic area where the child has resided, called a "move away case."

If you believe that your child should spend more time with you, or less time with the other parent, consult your attorney to discuss whether you have a basis

Child Support Orders Modification

"At any time the court deems necessary" child support orders may be modified even if the parties don’t agree. There is a mandatory California statewide child support guideline and if any one of the many factors changes, child support may be modified.

Spousal Support Modification

Spousal support is modifiable until the end of the support period as provided by the agreement of the parties. Amounts accrued prior to filing of application for modification are not modifiable. Unlike child support, spousal support can only be modified based on the terms of the court order, unless jurisdiction to award support has been reserved.

Spousal support duration is limited by the order [Ca Fam §§ 3603, 3651(c), 4333, 4335].  Modification is of spousal support is a very complicated issue.

Family Support Modification

Family support is a type of support that combines both child and spousal support into one combined amount in order to achieve tax savings.  If there has been a change in circumstances that justify a change, a family support Order may either be modified or separate orders for child and spousal support may be issued.

Property Division

Property Division adjudicated by the Final Judgment in your divorce may not be modified by the court. It is possible, however, that a judgment be rescinded in a set-aside motion under Ca Civ Pro § 473(b) or Ca Fam § 2120 et seq.  If an asset has not been disclosed and you learn about it after the divorce, you may be able to seek the division of a non-disclosed asset.

Right Buffer

Modification of Support

 The parent who seeks the child custody modification will need to show the court a "significant change of circumstances"

Certain orders are modifiable by the California courts after a final judgment in your divorce has been made.

The most common areas for post-judgment modification of orders include child custody/visitation orders, child support orders, and spousal support orders.