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How Alimony and Child Support Payments Change During a Move or Loss of a Job

Monday, July 30th, 2018
Categories: Blog, Child Custody, Spousal Support

When a judge issues child support or spousal support (or both) orders in Century City and surrounding areas of Los Angeles, the parties involved in the order have a legal obligation to follow it. In fact, not following the order and falling behind on payments can have serious consequences.

That being said, spousal support and child support orders can be modified when the situation warrants it, such as during a move or following the loss of a job. The following considers how to modify or terminate such payments, and how an experienced Los Angeles divorce lawyer can help.

When Can I Modify a Court Order?

As explained by the California Courts, a modification of a court order is allowed when a significant change in circumstances has occurred. What constitutes a “significant” change may vary depending upon the parties involved, the situation, and the type of order involved. For example, situations which may warrant the modification of a child support order include:

  • One parent has lost their job;
  • One parent has a child from another relationship;
  • The amount of time that the child spends with each child has changed (perhaps as the result of a move); or
  • The needs of the child have changed.

Examples that may warrant the modification of a spousal support order include:

  • One party has lost their job;
  • The person receiving support no longer requires support; or
  • The person receiving support is not making a good faith effort towards supporting themselves.

Permission from the Court

One major error that those who are obligated to make support payments sometimes make is assuming that because they have recently lost their job, are moving, or have experienced another significant change in circumstance they have the right to simply cease to make their support payments, sure that a judge will understand their situation. This is not the case; you must get permission from the court in regards to a support order modification before you modify the order on your own.

Requesting Modification of a Support Order

If you have experienced a significant change in circumstances, you should request a modification of your support order. If you and the other party involved (often an ex-spouse) are in agreement about the modification, you can present the proposal to the court and the judge will likely approve it. However, if you and the other party are not involved, you will need to file a petition with the court, serve the other party with the papers, and attend a hearing where you will have the opportunity to present evidence support your request for modification.

Working with a Lawyer

Before you start the process, we encourage you to call our Century City divorce lawyer at the Law Offices of Evan Braunstein. We can help you to understand when a modification is appropriate and how to file a modification request. Contact us now for a consultation by calling our law office or sending us a message today.

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