How to Modify a Divorce Decree in California

May 10, 2023
By Alternative Divorce Solutions

Making Changes After Everything is Done

If your circumstances and the terms of your divorce decree are no longer in agreement with one another, you have options. In California, modification of a divorce decree is a common occurrence. There are several reasons why people may wish to modify their divorce decrees, including changes in financial circumstances or changes in parenting time arrangements.

In this blog, learn the process for modifying a divorce decree in California as well as some of the factors the court will consider when making its decision.

When Can You Modify a Divorce Decree in California

If you or your spouse has faced a significant change in circumstances since the divorce was finalized, you may be able to modify the terms of your divorce decree. For the modification to be granted, however, you will need to prove that there has been a change in circumstance and that the modification is necessary.

Some examples of changes in circumstance that may warrant a modification include:

  • One spouse lost their job

  • One spouse remarrying

  • The needs of minor children change as they get older

How to Seek Modification

If you believe you have grounds for a modification, you will need to file a petition with the court. The process for filing a petition may vary depending on the county in which you live, so check with your local court to find out the specific requirements.

In general, though, you will need to complete and file a modification petition and order to show cause. You will then need to serve these documents to your spouse. Once your spouse has been served, there will be a hearing where both sides can present their arguments.

When the judge decides that a modification is warranted, they will issue an order changing the terms of your divorce decree. Note that modification orders are only temporary and may be subject to change in the future if there are further changes in circumstances.

Get Help from an Attorney

If you have questions about modifying your divorce decree or want to work out a modification with your spouse, know that the team at Alternative Divorce Solutions can help. With mediation, we can help you and your spouse come to terms on a change to your divorce decree that works for your new circumstances.

Learn more about mediation and modification in California or schedule a consultation by calling 949-368-2121 or by visiting our website.


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