Court Order Modification by Agreement
If you want to modify a court order, you can either agree to the changes with your former spouse out of court or request a change in circumstances. In the latter case, you and the responding party will have to appear in court and have your case decided by the judge.
Seeking a modification by agreement would be a cost-efficient alternative to filing a modification case with the court. If you and your ex-spouse can reach an agreement outside of court, you will have to submit it to the court. The judge then signs the agreement to make the changes official and legally binding.
What Is a Change in Circumstances When Seeking a Modification?
If the parties cannot agree to the changes without court involvement, the parties can file a modification case with the court. However, the party requesting a modification needs to prove a significant change in circumstances for the requested changes to be approved.
- Modification of Child Custody & Visitation. If you need to alter your child custody or visitation court order, you need to prove a significant change in circumstances that makes it near impossible to comply with the existing order. You must also prove that the requested change would be in the best interests of the children.
- Modification of Child Support or Spousal Support. Changing a spousal support or child support order requires you to show a change in circumstances. Unlike modifications of child custody and visitation orders, the modification of child and spousal support does not require a “significant” change. Common reasons to modify child support and spousal support include the loss of a job, a change in income, a change in financial situation, and cohabitation.
How to Modify a Court Order in California?
The process of requesting a modification of a court order is similar for both child custody/visitation and child/spousal support orders. The party who wishes to change the order needs to take the following steps:
- Complete a Modification Form. Consider speaking with experienced attorneys to help you fill out the court order form and submit the necessary paperwork to convince the judge that the requested changes are appropriate.
- Submit the Modification Case to the Court. Once you fill out the modification form, you will need to submit it to the court.
- Serve the Responding Party. The third step involves serving the responding party with a copy of the requested modification order.
- Submit Proof of Service to the Court. Then, you need to submit forms proving that the responding party is aware of the pending modification case.
- Attend a Hearing. If you and your former spouse agree to the requested court order modification, you only need to present your agreement to the judge during the hearing. However, if there is no agreement, the judge will hear your case to approve or reject the modification.