California Family Court recognizes that personal circumstances change. People lose or change jobs, move, remarry, have a child with a new spouse… The terms of your child support, child custody, visitation and spousal support agreements will, however, remain the SAME, not recognizing these personal life changes unless you seek a legal modification to the original court order.
Family Law Attorney Laurence Haines can seek a modification to court orders so that these important legal documents more accurately reflect your current life and circumstances often reducing the amounts of monthly support that you are required to pay.
The consequences of failing to obtain a modification when you as the spouse paying the support can be devastating.
Your Legal Support Obligation Continues no matter your Circumstances
The need for a legal modification is not well understood by many people. Did you know you are still required to pay court-ordered child support or alimony even if:
- You lose your job
- Your income is significantly reduced
- You are deployed overseas
- You are in prison
- You are facing a life-changing illness or disabled
Severe Consequences Face Those Who Procrastinate
If any of the above circumstances are preventing you from paying your agreed support payments, your alimony or child support obligations continue to build up in arrears at the original monthly amount –until you seek a modification. If that is not bad enough, if you have overdue support payments, you can lose your driver’s license and your passport. The state of California can garnish your wages, hold back tax returns and even clean out your bank accounts to collect the unpaid debt. You could be forced into bankruptcy. Eventually, the local district attorney will get involved and criminally prosecute you for contempt of court.
You do not have to come to our San Diego offices to seek a modification. If you cannot visit with us in person, we can work with a family member on your behalf. For example, we can assist members of the military stationed overseas with modifications by working through family members whom they designate.
Remember – Time is not on Your Side
It is important to seek a modification of a standing court order as soon as possible. If you lost your job and stopped making payments a year ago, but only now decide to seek a modification, you will still owe the unpaid amount for that entire year. Depressing as that may be, no sense allowing the hole to get ever larger – let’s get started immediately seeking you a modification. The good news is that the change in your financial obligation will be retroactive to the date we file the petition for your modification.
If the above circumstances mimic your situation do not delay. To schedule a free consultation about a modification, please contact attorney Laurence Haines today.
Modification Requests for Other Circumstances
In order to prevail in an attempt to modify the court’s original order, you must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances.
Some common circumstances that may justify a modification include a change of employment status, a 15% or greater change in income of either party, the relocation of either parent to another city or state, facts that show that the child is not doing well under the current time sharing plan, or other relevant changes may have developed.
If you are currently considering a post judgment family law modification legal issue or dispute, make sure that your legal rights are protected by seeking the legal advice of an experienced San Diego family law modification attorney by contacting Laurence Haines personally.