Post-Divorce Modifications Attorney in Pasadena, CA
Pasadena Post-Divorce Modifications Attorney
The process of ending a marriage can be emotionally charged. It can be even more challenging when the relationship involves children, who must adjust to their parents’ new lives and a new family structure. Once a final divorce agreement has been created—often after lengthy mediation, negotiation, and even litigation—it may have been impossible to imagine revisiting the decisions made during the divorce process. However, as life moves on and children grow older, it is important to remember that significant changes may result in the need to modify the original divorce order.
While you may have addressed the existing legal issues during your divorce proceedings, it is possible that circumstances have changed that may require you to revisit issues of child custody, visitation, child support, or spousal support. This process necessary to make the desired changes is referred to as post-divorce modification. Seeking counsel from a Pasadena post-divorce modifications attorney can help bridge your knowledge gap and accelerate the process.
Attorney Patricia A. Rigdon has built unparalleled experience in all areas of family law, including divorce, mediation, and litigation. We can handle your post-divorce legal issues while maintaining a thorough grasp of the emotional aspect of your case. Our goal is to ease the transition into your new circumstances by providing effective legal representation and compassionate support for post-divorce modifications. We understand that you need your children to have a stable and loving home environment as they grow older, which is why the proper legal guidance from the best Pasadena divorce attorney gives you the best opportunity for success.
Types of Post-Divorce Modifications
There are many changes that may occur in a child’s life after the divorce of their parents. Similarly, many divorcing couples also experience changes in circumstance after their divorce is complete. If a portion of the divorce agreement is no longer tenable, individuals can request changes through a petition for a post-divorce modification. Post-divorce modifications are legal arrangements made by both parents to adjust custody and visitation agreements or change aspects such as child support or spousal support payments. A modification petition can be initiated at any time after the divorce has been finalized.
There are four overarching types of post-divorce modifications, which may overlap with one another as required:
- Temporary adjustments, which can be made in emergency situations such as when a child is sick, or the other parent must leave town unexpectedly
- Permanent adjustments, which are usually made to address a meaningful change in your family’s living situation, finances, or something else
- Agreements between parties, which can only occur if all parties involved agree on the changes. This type of arrangement is typically made through a mediator who will work to arrive at the best possible outcome for everyone involved. Many people find that a mutual agreement can avoid the need to go to court to officially alter the existing divorce order.
- Court orders, which occur when a mediator is unable to come up with an agreement that works well for all parties involved. This type of modification may also be necessary when it has been found that one party is in clear violation of the current support, custody, or visitation order.
Regardless of the modification type that best fits your situation, it is important to contact an attorney who specializes in family law to ensure the modification involved is clear, comprehensive, and binding.
How Do I Know If I Need a Post-Divorce Modification?
While the terms of your divorce are legally binding after the court finalizes the divorce decree, there are many reasons to consider a post-divorce modification. Some of the most common reasons include:
- One party remarries
- Change in the children’s school or extracurricular activities
- Change in income due to promotion, job loss, reduction in hours, or disability
- Relocation or other modified living arrangements
- Significant change in the household, such as the birth of another child
- Sudden illness or injury
If you are experiencing any of the above changes, contact a Pasadena divorce lawyer to discuss your situation. Your attorney can help you determine whether a substantial change in circumstances justifies your modification request, choose the best modification type to pursue, and help you prove the need for the modification in court if necessary. Perhaps most importantly, your attorney can ensure all necessary documentation is completed and submitted in a timely manner.
Why Should You Pursue a Post-Divorce Modification?
While every divorce decree is different, there are many benefits you may experience with a post-divorce modification request. Some of these include:
- The ability to alter the terms of your divorce decree to ensure your arrangements work better for you and your children
- The ability to ensure the other parent is in compliance with the terms of the agreement
- The ability to modify child support payments, especially if you experience a significant income change or increase in your household size
- The ability to address child support if your ex-spouse is behind on payments or not fulfilling their responsibility
- The ability to modify spousal support orders or alimony, which can be helpful if either you or your ex-spouse loses or gains a job, experiences a significant pay cut or pay increase or encounters another notable change in circumstances
- The ability to modify custody and visitation agreements, which can be especially helpful if you or your spouse are moving out of the area or your children’s schedule has changed
Characteristics of a Good and Bad Divorce Lawyer
Divorce attorneys are a type of family law attorney. They specialize in handling all aspects of the divorce process, including post-divorce modifications. In many cases, individuals wishing to file a post-divorce modification simply choose to contact the divorce attorney that handled their divorce. However, if you are in need of a Pasadena post-divorce modification lawyer, watch for these positive and negative characteristics of a divorce lawyer.
Characteristics of a good divorce lawyer:
- Has successfully worked with other clients in a comparable situation
- Educated and experienced in divorce proceedings
- Familiar with the local and state family court systems
- Have developed a good reputation within their community
- Makes you feel at ease
- Listens to your concerns and responds with empathy, not judgment
- Works well under pressure, both within the court system and with you
- Is available for meetings and phone calls and keeps you updated regularly
- Offers divorce collaboration
Characteristics of a poor divorce lawyer:
- Does not communicate well with you, the court system, or other attorneys in the case
- Treats your case as an inconvenience
- Sets unrealistic expectations about the outcome of your case
- Does not spend time with you or prioritizes you only after other, more lucrative cases
- Does not know the law or how to use it for their client’s benefit
What Should I Share with My Divorce Lawyer?
When pursuing a post-divorce modification, there are a number of things you should share with your Pasadena divorce lawyer to increase your chances of success. These include:
- The most recent copy of your divorce decree
- Copies of any new agreements between parties, such as custody and visitation agreements
- A copy of the most recent child support agreement
- A copy of the most recent income tax return for both parties
- Proof of any alimony orders, including current payment amounts
- Any recent paystubs or other income documentation for either party
- Copies of any proposed post-divorce modifications, if applicable
- Details of any interactions with your ex-spouse, including emails and text messages if those details are relevant to the case
- Proof of any communications with other attorneys or outside parties, like teachers and daycare centers
- Anything else you think may be relevant to the modification process
Is There Anything I Shouldn’t Share with My Divorce Lawyer?
The number one thing you should avoid in conversation with your Pasadena divorce attorney or Pasadena post-divorce modification attorney is talking poorly or venting about your spouse. While your attorney certainly understands that not all coparents or divorced couples remain on good terms, venting only takes time away from work on your post-divorce modification. In the same vein, you should avoid sharing anything that is not relevant to your divorce or your post-modification petition.
More specifically, avoid sharing:
- Anything that could be considered slander against your spouse or defamatory in any way. This can include talking about their personality, personal habits, and behavior in relationships.
- Anything that could be considered a confession of guilt or an admission against your own interest. This can include talking about your own personality, personal habits, and behavior in relationships.
- Any request that could result in accusations of perjury or witness tampering. This can include asking your attorney to encourage someone else to lie or change their story, even if that person is not a witness in the case.
Connect with the Best: Pasadena Post-Divorce Modification Attorney
If you have been served with a post-divorce modification or are interested in starting the process, the Law Office of Patricia Rigdon can help. Attorney Patricia A. Rigdon is a Pasadena post-divorce modifications attorney with the experience and knowledge to ensure you achieve the outcome you deserve in your modification case. We can help you request and pursue necessary changes in child support, spousal support, child custody and visitation while preserving your ability to be a part of your child’s life.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, please connect with us today.