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Can You Modify a Divorce Decree in California?

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Divorces almost never go the way both parties want them to go. In the end, either side – but often both sides – come out of the process with misgivings about how the judge decided on one or more issues. You might think that nothing can be done once a judge hands down their final judgment, but fortunately, there is: It’s possible to modify the terms of your divorce decree.

How Do I Modify My Divorce Agreement?

People seek divorce agreements for all sorts of reasons, but the most commonly modified terms involve child custodychild supportspousal support, and property division. It should be no surprise that these are also four of the most hotly contested issues in any divorce, but virtually any provision of a divorce decree can be subject to modification.

If you wish to modify your divorce agreement, your first step should be to consult an attorney. A legal professional can assess your situation and advise on the best course of action. Typically, modifications are seriously considered by the courts when a significant change in circumstances has occurred.

Such a change can include the following:

  • Either spouse has gained or lost employment
  • Either spouse has gained or lost a source of income
  • A child requires extra support for special needs
  • An error occurred when assessing the total value of community property
  • Hidden assets are discovered after the divorce

Modifications are also considered if the parameters originally set by the judge aren’t working out in reality (such as a time-sharing agreement with regard to child custody).

Simply put, you must have a good reason to modify your divorce, whether that involves a change in circumstances, a legal error, or the fact that the terms of the divorce are too burdensome to carry out in reality.

Consult an Attorney for Help

Even if you believe you have a valid reason to pursue a modification of your divorce decree, seek legal guidance from an attorney first. Modifications to divorce judgments aren’t taken lightly, so you can save a lot of time and money by having an experienced lawyer assess your claim.

We at Claery & Hammond, LLP can help you with this process, starting with a free consultation that you can schedule today. If we believe that we can support your petition to modify your divorce agreement, we’ll work with you through each step of the process toward your goal.

Contact us online now to learn more and tell us you want to claim your free consultation today!


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