No one can predict what the future will bring. After all, most newlyweds in Los Angeles do not anticipate divorcing, but it does happen from time to time that some couples simply find that even after years of marriage, they are no longer compatible and are better off going their separate ways.
Similarly, while a couple's initial divorce decree will have provisions pertaining to child support, spousal support and child custody, sometimes a person's life circumstances change, warranting a modification of these orders. When it comes to modifying a divorce decree, the party who wants the decree modified usually needs to show that they have experienced a significant change in circumstances. If it is a child custody provision that a party wants changed, any changes must be in the best interests of the child.
Some reasons a party might want to modify a child support order include a significant and unexpected drop in earnings, or, conversely, an increase in what a party earns. Keep in mind that either parent can seek a modification of a child support order, and the amount of child support can either go up or down.
When it comes to child custody and visitation orders, sometimes parents seek a modification so they can have a more active role in raising the child. Other times, there are concerns about the other parent's fitness to raise a child, especially if there are instances of drug or alcohol abuse, child neglect or child abuse.
In the end, if a party to a divorce decides later on down the road that the terms of their original divorce decree need to be modified, they may want to seek the advice of an attorney. Our firm understands that it sometimes takes a compelling stance to either pursue a modification or, alternatively, to prevent a modification. Our website has more information on this topic that readers in California may find of use.