A “final” judgment in a family law action does not necessarily mark the end of litigation between parties. In fact, many orders are modified, at the court's discretion, long after a final judgment is made, including orders of child support.
In California, each county’s local child support agency is required to enforce child support obligations for any child receiving public assistance. Upon request, they are also obligated to take the same action on behalf of a child not receiving public assistance. Any time there is evidence that supports a material change in circumstances, the court may order a modification. The party seeking a modification bears the burden of showing a change of circumstances warranting such modification. Instead of actual earnings the court may, in its discretion, consider the earning capacity of a parent, or may calculate a parent's earning capacity based on assets in lieu of the parent's income, so long as doing so serves the best interests of the child.
Spousal support awards and agreements, temporary as well as permanent, are modifiable throughout the support period. If a spousal support order or agreement is based on misrepresentations of a party, an experienced attorney can bring a set-aside motion on the basis of fraud or perjury.
Child custody and visitation orders are also generally modifiable throughout the child’s minority whenever the court finds a modification is necessary and proper in order to serve the best interests of the child. If you are looking for a trustworthy attorney who will be on your side, please contact us. We will be happy to help.