FAMILY LAW ARTICLES
After a final judgment for divorce that contains child support and spousal support, one or both parties may want to modify one or both of those orders. You must have the original order changed, which means you need to motion the court. While you can change the order without going through the process, it could land the paying parent in a world of hurt should the other parent decide they want more and tells the court that you never had an agreement.
Changing Support Orders: Both Parties Agree
The only way to officially change a court order is with another court order. Thus, you need another court order if both parties agree to the modification, whether an increase or decrease in a child or spousal support. You can sign a settlement agreement, then have the court draft an order based on the deal. The new order takes the place of the original order. A Ventura County family law attorney can help draft the formal stipulation and forward the information to the court for an order.
Changing Support Orders When One Party Disagrees
If one parent needs to modify a support order because they lost hours or took a permanent pay cut and the other parent disagrees, the requesting parent must file a motion with the court.
The requesting parent must also provide proof of the wage reduction and file an income and expense declaration with the court.
You can prove a wage reduction by supplying pay stubs for the last two months. If you are a business owner, you may have some trouble showing a decrease in wages. Your business’s P&I and other reports from an accountant might suffice.
Once you provide the information and circumstances to your Ventura County family law attorney, we can help you complete the income and expense declaration and file the motion with the court, including your pay stubs and the declaration.
We then must ask for a hearing. At the hearing, the court reviews the evidence and decides to grant or deny your request. If the court grants your request, it will enter an order stating the new amount of child support or spousal support and the date you start paying the new amount.
You can start paying the lower amount on the date the court will put in its order even if you have not received a copy of the order, as it sometimes takes time to draft the order, have the court review it, and finally execute and file the order. Always check with your Ventura County family law attorney before making any support payment changes, even if you heard the court state that you can start paying the lower amount by a specific date.
Contact Hartley Lamas et al
If you need to modify a child support order or a spousal support order, contact Hartley Lamas et al for a consultation.