SEEKING TO MODIFY COURT ORDERS?
Los Angeles Modification of Orders Attorney
Many family court orders are modifiable. For example, child support, child custody, and spousal support orders are all subject to modification if certain conditions have been met. If you believe your circumstances justify modifying your current family court orders, contact us to discuss your case. The Berenji & Associates divorce lawyers have 20 years experience petitioning for and defending against modifying orders. Call our Los Angeles modification attorneys today for a free consultation.
Modification of Orders Overview
To modify most orders, you must show a substantial change in circumstances. The trial court judge has broad discretion in determining whether you have met this requirement.
For example, in a child support hearing a substantial change in circumstances would be losing a significant portion of your income. One exception to this standard is modifying visitation orders, which uses the “best interests of the child” standard and requires a lesser showing.
Things to Consider Before Modifying Orders
Cost is an important consideration prior to modifying orders. Therefore, it’s often best to reach out to the other parent to see if things can be resolved with minimal judicial involvement. Once you stipulate to an agreement, you submit it to the court so that a new order is entered into judgment.
If you and your former spouse cannot reach an agreement, you might need to litigate the matter. At Berenji & Associates, we help our clients use their resources strategically. Instead of litigating excessively over a one-hundred dollars for child support, it may be best to save those resources if custody becomes an issue.
Another important consideration prior to seeking a modification is how you will appear before the judge. Remember, you typically have the same judge assigned to you for an extended period of time. As such, you don’t want the judge to think you’re being overly litigious. Such conduct could result in you having to pay the opposing parties’ attorney’s fees based on need or sanctions.
General Process for Modifying Orders
To modify an order, you file an FL-300 Request for Order form and check the “modification” box. If the request affects monetary orders, make sure to include an Income and Expense declaration form. (FL-150.) When serving the opposing party, include a Responsive Declaration form. (FL-320.)
N.B. You must personally serve the opposing party, not just his or her attorney of record when seeking to modify an existing order. (CA Family Code § 215.) While some case law points to an “actual notice” exception, judges will typically dismiss the matter unless you can show that you effectuated proper service.
After the opposing party has been properly served, it’s customary for the attorneys (or self-represented parties) to attempt at settling the matter and avoid litigation costs. Absent a settlement, the parties will need to attend a hearing. Typically, support matters are resolved during brief hearings. Child custody matters, on the other hand, could result in extended litigation.
Speak with an Experienced Los Angeles Modification Attorney Today
If you would like more information, please visit our modification of child support FAQ or modification of child custody FAQ. We understand that there is a lot to consider when deciding whether to seek a modification of a court order. Our Los Angeles modification attorneys will sit down with you to discuss your situation.