A post-judgment modification action occurs where a party to the existing judgment seeks to change a provision of the judgment. To modify a judgment, you must file an Order to Show Cause (OSC) motion, which is essentially a request for the court to make an order. In your OSC, you must demonstrate that grounds exist for modifying the existing judgment, including generally a changed circumstance warranting modification. Generally, post-judgment modification motions are appropriate for issues regarding child custody and visitation, child support and spousal support. Orders regarding other provisions, such as the
division of property, are generally not permitted, although parties may seek to set-aside a previous judgment on these issues under certain circumstances. In family law, motions to set aside judgments and orders generally fall under California Code of Civil Procedure 473 or California Family Code 2120, et seq. To obtain a post-judgment modification, you must demonstrate that the circumstances have changed since the original order to justify your requested modification. While there is no formal definition of what constitutes a change of circumstances, some courts may consider the following a change of circumstances justifying a court-ordered modification of a previous order: relocation or move away, loss of job or increases or decreases in earnings, unsuitable environment for children, new spouse or mate, unforeseen expenses, including medical expenses, and drug or alcohol use or abuse.
You should note that even though a change of circumstances may have occurred in the past, in most cases, a court ordered modification will not take place retroactively. This is particularly
important for the issues of child and spousal support. That means your new support payments will begin with the new order and you may still be responsible for any delinquencies that occurred prior to the new order becoming effective.
Our post-divorce modification attorneys understand that a change of circumstances can be devastating in some cases and welcome changes in others. We will work with you to fully comprehend the scope of your issues, and we will focus our efforts on addressing those concerns.