Davis Lawyers for Modifying Current Orders, Representing Northern California

  • Pakpour Banks is based in Davis, CA, and is proudly serving Davis, Woodland, Sacramento, West Sacramento, Vacaville, Dixon, Fairfield, Roseville, Elk Grove, and surrounding areas.
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Pakpour Banks LLP provides legal services to individuals involved in modifying their current orders. When you go through a divorce, the legal process can seem overwhelming. You may assume that court orders on custody, child support, and child visitation can’t be altered. However, court orders can usually be modified if circumstances change.

In this post, we’ll share some circumstances that could lead a court to modify orders and give you the information you need to start the order modification process. To learn more about modification, contact our experienced Davis attorneys for modifying current orders at Pakpour Banks LLP.

Can Family Court Orders Be Modified?

Unlike a criminal trial, or most civil matters, the orders of a family court judge may often, are often, and sometimes should often, be modified. The judge will weigh the changed circumstances against the best interests of the child and other parties involved to determine whether to modify court orders.

Child Custody Modification

For example, if the court issues child custody orders that no longer reflect the best interests of the children, parties have the right to request that the court modify the order. This might occur when either the custodial or non-custodial parent engages in dangerous behavior—like drug use, excessive drinking, or violence. In such a case, the child would no longer be safe in that shared custody arrangement.

Even if a parent does not exhibit dangerous behavior, the parent may jeopardize visitation by not following the court-ordered schedule. For instance, a parent may not show up to pick up a child as scheduled, or a parent might consistently drop a child off late or take them out of state without permission. The court requires all parties to follow orders or face the consequences. If the court issues visitation orders, but one party has not been living up to them, the other party may request that the court order a new visitation arrangement that takes this into account.

Child Support Modification

If the court issues child support orders, but circumstances change, you can request child support modification. This might occur in several situations.

New timeshare agreement

The court determines child support based on factors such as each parent’s income, expenses, and the amount of time each parent spends with the child. The amount of time you are responsible to care for the child plays a significant role in determining child support because the court assumes that the parent who is with the child most will spend the most money on the child’s basic needs. When the parties adopt a new timeshare agreement, this equation changes. Therefore, you can ask the court to recalculate child support based on the revised time each parent cares for the child.

Job change

If one of the parties loses a job, parties have a right to ask the court to reconsider the support order in light of the changed circumstances. The person who lost a job cannot choose to remain unemployed to avoid child support. However, if the unemployed person is genuinely trying to get a new job, support orders may be modified during the period of unemployment.

Change in family size

If a parent has a new baby, they may seek child support modification due to reduced available income. The new baby increases the number of dependents the parent supports, leaving less expendable income for the existing children.

California Family Code 4057.5 provides that when a parent remarries, the income of the new spouse is not considered in child support calculations, except in extraordinary circumstances. If the parent quits their job after remarrying to become dependent on the income of the new spouse, the new spouse’s income may be considered in child support calculations.


When a parent goes to prison, their ability to pay child support changes because they usually aren’t earning any income. The custodial parent can request child support payments to be taken from the imprisoned parent’s savings. A parent in jail is still responsible for child support payments unless they ask the court to modify their ordered support due to their incarceration. Without a court suspending child support payments, interest will accrue on any missed payments while the parent is in prison.  

Some child support orders include what is called “automatic step-down language” which means that child support is automatically set to $0.00 per month upon incarceration, and returns to its prior level upon release.  However, there are no automatic changes without this language in the order.  Also, the law that allows for this provision (California Family Code 4007.5) includes a “sunset clause” of 1/1/2023, which may or may not be extended by the California Legislature.

Spousal Support Modification

If the court issues spousal support orders, but the party receiving support gets a new job or a significant raise at his or her old job, the paying spouse has a right to request that the court modify what he or she has been ordered to pay.  Spousal support can also be modified, and sometimes outright terminated, if the spouse receiving support remarries, or cohabitates. Our California attorneys for modifying current orders can help you determine a fair alimony modification request based on your ex’s increased income.

How Can a Lawyer Help?

These are just some of the many examples of situations that should lead you to request a modification of support. A California attorney for modifying current orders can assist you with understanding whether the circumstances in your case warrant a request to modify child custody, visitation, child support, or spousal support orders.

The important thing to understand is that when the judge issues an order, that is not necessarily the end of the matter. Your ex-spouse has to comply with the order, and you may need to jump through legal hoops to force that compliance. Your ex-spouse could even file another petition for modification later on. With these complex and emotional interactions, you need an experienced California lawyer for modifying current orders on your side.

Contact Experienced Davis Lawyers for Modifying Current Orders

At Pakpour Banks LLP, our child support modification attorneys advocate for our clients’ fair support payments and custody arrangements. When circumstances change for either parent, we can petition the court for child support modification. We gather the evidence needed to present a strong case for modification, and we help you enforce the court order if your ex-spouse won’t cooperate. Our skilled California lawyers for modifying current orders try to resolve your case quickly, without extended litigation, to save you money and avoid additional hostility between you and your ex. Contact us today to discuss your case and learn whether you may be eligible for custody or support modification.