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Legal Guidance Pursuing Or Defending Against Modifications

Life inevitably changes after divorce. The kids grow and change, or have troubles at home or school. The adults experience financial setbacks, relocate for better jobs or discover new loves. These family shifts may mean you need to amend an original custody or support order.

The Law Offices of Thomas M. Polinger represents either parent in post-judgment modification of divorce decrees, including child custody, visitation, child support or spousal support. We serve the South Bay area, West L.A. and Los Angeles County from our office in Hermosa Beach. Arrange an appointment at 310-697-8868.

Protecting Your Interests In Post-Judgment Modifications

With 35 years of experience in California family law, founding lawyer Thomas Polinger knows the hot-button issues in post-judgment modifications, the intricacies of local courts and specific judicial officers, and how to position you for the most favorable outcome. We can help whether you are initiating or challenging the modification action:

Modification of child support — In almost all cases child support is based upon a mathematical formula. If there is a change in income of the parents or a change in the time either party spends with the children (time share percentage), a modification to increase or decrease the amount of child support may be appropriate. Although the amount of support is based upon a mathematical formula, a skilled attorney can assist the court and the client in achieving the correct guideline support amount. Frequently an attorney is needed to reveal diverted or underreported income. If either party is unemployed or self-employed, an experienced attorney can make a substantial difference in the level of support by adding a self-employed parties work related “perks” as reported income or determining “earning capacity” of an unemployed party.

Parents frequently surmise that if the court bases child support on a formula that they do not need an attorney. This is a dangerous assumption. For example, if a parent remarries and their new spouse earns significant income, most parents assume that child support should increase; in fact the opposite is true since the “new spouse income” can only be considered by the court for tax purposes. Child support may actually decrease because the payor is in a higher tax bracket. Consult an attorney before petitioning for modification!

Modification of spousal support — Spousal support is usually subject to modification upon a showing of significant change of circumstances. If either party experiences a significant increase or decrease in income (unfortunately very common these days) or an inability to work due to disability or retirement, the court may modify or terminate spousal support. This is a complex and difficult area of law which has many pitfalls and procedural traps for the unwary. Mr. Polinger has successfully argued on both sides of the issue and is familiar with the latest law on this subject.

Modification of child custody and visitation — We have handled everything from simple changes in the parenting agreement to complex custody disputes involving psychological issues of the parents and emotional and physical issues of the children:

  • Parenting schedules (overnights, exchange times, vacations)
  • Increased parenting time
  • Reversal of primary physical custody (a child switching primary households)
  • Petitions for sole custody
  • Move-away (parental relocation)

Call our Hermosa Beach office at 310-697-8868 or contact us online.