Family Modifications

Family Modification Attorney in Santa Rosa, California

Modification actions are post-judgment motions because they occur after a judgment or order is entered. A party may make a motion to modify a court order or decision for several reasons. After a final divorce decision, the California courts might modify certain decrees. Post-judgment order modifications most commonly affect child custody and visitation (parenting time), child support, spousal support, family support, and property division. If you need help modifying any of these, our family modification attorneys in Santa Rosa, CA can help.

There are various reasons why you would seek to modify past court orders. Among them are:

  • You and the other party have agreed on anything other than the court’s directives.
  • Your position has changed significantly after the orders were submitted.
  • You feel the court or the other party committed a procedural error that harmed your case.

Suppose you feel any of the above conditions apply to your case. In that case, you should contact an experienced California family law modifiaction attorney or even a California divorce lawyer at Embolden Law PC to provide appropriate legal assistance and achieve the best possible conclusion. Our attorneys have considerable experience addressing family law matters in California and helping you with all the legal paperwork.

Settlement Agreement?

If you want to modify any court orders, you might try to reach a new arrangement with the other side. This alternative saves you money since you do not have to go to court. Once agreed, the agreement must be presented to the California family law court for signature. An agreement, based on the legal system, becomes a court order after the judge signs it.

While this alternative is the least complicated and least expensive, it still requires the skill of a California family law attorney. A new agreement with the opposite party may cause many difficulties. Negotiating a new agreement with the opposing party may be challenging, and an experienced California family attorney may make the difference.

What Issues Are Subject To Modification?

A post-judgment modification procedure may address a wide range of concerns or legal issues.

Child Custody and Visitation Orders

You can modify child custody and child visitation arrangements at any time. If it’s in the best interest of a child, the court may deem the modification “necessary or proper.” A noncustodial parent seeking a child custody modification/visitation rights must prove a “significant change in circumstances” to the court.

The custodial parent or the custody and divorce attorney often assists in supporting the request. Common reasons for requesting a custody change include:

  • Their work routine shifted.
  • This parent drew closer to the other.
  • The child’s preference shifted.
  • One parent is negligent, such as not taking the child to school on time, etc.
  • A parent seeks to relocate away from the child’s home (move away case).

Your family modification attorney can help you with the visitation schedule and custody agreement and prove that your child should be spending more or less time with the other parent. Schedule a consultation with one of our family law modifications today to know how we can help.

Child Support

Despite parental pleas, child support orders can be amended by the court at any moment. California has statutory child support standards that the court can modify if any of the variables change.

Spousal Support

Spousal support can be changed until the support term ends. Previously accumulated amounts are not subject to modification. If the court has reserved authority to award spousal support, it cannot be modified. The order limits the length of spousal support.

Family Support

Family support combines child and spousal support to avoid taxes. If circumstances change, you can modify a family support order or obtain child and spousal support orders separately.

Property Division

The court may not modify the property split in your divorce final decision. A decision can be set aside under Ca Civ Pro 473(b) or Ca Fam 2120 et seq. If you discover an undisclosed asset after the divorce, you may be entitled to demand its equitable distribution.The court may or may not modify the order or judgment. Some issues are “fairly amicable” to modify. If your circumstances change, you can easily modify child support (i.e., a dollar increase or decrease in income is theoretically allowed).

The court must calculate and issue guidelines for this child support. Others are far more challenging to modify. For instance, spousal support judgments may be difficult to change since the court must examine each criterion listed in Family Code Section 4320 before modifying alimony.

Modification of Family Law Judgments

When deciding whether to submit a post-judgment modification request, expect that you must convince the court of a changing condition. Changes in circumstances, such as employment loss or change, may necessitate a modification to support a child or marital support obligations.

Similarly, a parent’s criminal charges such as child abuse or abduction may be grounds to modify custody and visitation. Changed circumstances might justify a modification in divorce, separation agreement, paternity judgment, or decree.

The determination of whether a single change is sufficient to warrant modification is highly fact-dependent. Each case is unique. Modification of “visitation” orders does not need proof of a change in circumstances. Unchanged circumstances are not required to modify a visitation order, and as expected, the party requesting a modification of the visitation arrangement should show some change.

Non-modifiable judgments and orders cannot be altered. Parties often agree to “non-modifiable” spousal support decisions, which the court cannot modify. Also, you cannot change certain matters in a decision or order because they are “final.” Final judgments address topics like communal property distribution. A property division agreement or a court ruling dividing joint property is final and cannot be altered.

If you are looking for a family law modification attorney in California, schedule a consultation with us today. Our divorce and family law firm have been helping families in California modify their agreements in divorce, child custody, alimony, and other family law issues.

Post-Judgment Motions in California

If you disagree with the final decision in your family law matter, you can submit post-judgment petitions to modify your orders. Motions after judgment are more complex than other modification alternatives. Among the motions to modify your final decision are:

  • A request for retrial or reconsideration if you feel the court erred in law or procedure.
  • The court’s ruling was made under duress, by error, and dishonest behavior of one of the parties.
  • A motion to vacate if you feel the court’s decision and rationale are in contradiction.

Each of these motions has complicated legal obstacles and time restrictions for filing. Engage with a reliable California family modification attorney to get legal help with your post-judgment motion today.

Getting Your Modification Order Approved in California

Obtaining a modification order to a judgment takes time and strategy. To enforce your chances of getting a modification order, do the following steps:a

Prove Your Change of Circumstance

If you don’t prove a change in circumstances, your motion for order modification may be rejected. Prepare a detailed description of modifications made since the prior order or decision. Achieve “significant” enough improvements to merit modification. If you recently got an order for child custody three months before and nothing has changed, the court is unlikely to consider your request.

Prepare Your Request for Order Pleadings

Your RFO pleadings are vital. Make sure the law allows your modification and points and authorities to describe the applicable legislation for the court. Affidavit stating modifications considering you must legally serve previous orders.

Court Preparations

An order request gets you a court date. Come prepared for your court date. Prepare to respond to the opposing party’s arguments.

Responding to A Judgment Modification Request

You should attack the moving party’s claim of a change in circumstances first. The following procedures should assist your response to modifications in a California family law judgment:

Consult a Family Law Modification Attorney

It is nearly always best to hire a lawyer to defend against a modification request and provide you with sound legal advice. Verify the attorney’s knowledge of family law and the issues being addressed. If you wish to represent yourself along with the proceeding, you can even engage an attorney for legal guidance.


You must show the motion lacking proof of a changed circumstance. The motion in your case is governed by substantial statute and case law. Often, a significant demonstration of changing circumstances is necessary, and there may be examples that directly relate to your request. Study the order or judgment carefully. Ensure you have read and understood all provisions that may apply to the modification procedure.

File Your Statement

Prepare a modification to the RFO after researching the legislation. Compile your arguments, authorities, and documented opposition. Reply on the opposite side, and then you can now prepare for the hearing.

Consult a California Family Modification Attorney Today!

Convincing a court to modify an existing court order depends on your legal reasons. Having a reliable family modification attorney on your side will guarantee that the specifics of your case are appropriately discussed before the family court.

Embolden Law PC’s experienced family law modification attorneys have helped clients modify court decrees for several years. You can count on us to work hard to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

Our California family law firm serves clients in Santa Rosa, North Bay, Lake, Mendocino, Marin, Napa, and Sonoma County, California. Call us or schedule a consultation today to speak with an experienced lawyer who can help with your family law concern and bankruptcy case.

Facing Financial and Family Law Concerns?

Consult our Santa Rosa Family Law and Bankruptcy Attorneys!