Law Offices of James V. Sansone
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Ukiah 707-993-4068

Looking to the future after a negative divorce outcome

There are many different reasons why individuals face a negative or unbalanced outcome to their divorce. In some circumstances, one spouse works with an attorney and the other does not. This can unfairly skew the results in favor of the spouse with legal representation.

It is also relatively common for someone who doesn't necessarily want a divorce to fail to advocate for themselves in court. If you felt emotionally overwhelmed at the time of your divorce, you may not have been thinking clearly and able to make the best decision for yourself. Some people simply acquiesce to every request made by their spouse in the hope of minimizing stress and getting the process over with quickly.

In the months or years that followed, these individuals may realize that the outcome of their divorce isn't fair. Thankfully, not all aspects of a divorce are permanent. In certain circumstances, you can change the terms of your divorce.

You can modify custody arrangements and support

As life circumstances change, so do the responsibilities and opportunities for former spouses and parents. The courts recognize this and allow individuals to file requests for modifications of support orders and custody arrangements.

Typically, you will need to demonstrate a cause for your modification request to the courts. Having time to emotionally process the divorce, improve your financial circumstances or even undergo substance abuse therapy can bolster requests for child custody modification.

In the case of support levels, whether it is spousal support or child support, you will generally need to show some kind of change in your income or in the financial situation of your former spouse. Those receiving child support may be able to request more support if their spouse begins earning more or if the expenses for providing for the children increase drastically in a provable manner.

Contesting asset division terms is less common and more difficult

For most couples, the asset division process is completely over when the courts finalize the divorce order. It is more rare for the courts to revise asset division terms than it is for them to modify support or custody arrangements. However, it is possible, in certain circumstances, to have the courts revisit the outcome of the asset division process.

One circumstance in which the courts may reopen a finalized divorce is if you obtain documentation that your spouse hid assets from you and the courts. Anything from secret gambling winnings to hidden bank accounts could have unfairly impacted how the courts split your assets. There are other, relatively unusual, conditions under which the courts will also consider changing or adjusting their final decree in your divorce.

If you believe that this may be necessary in your case, your first step should be to speak with someone with an understanding of California family law and asset division precedents in the state.

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1260 N. Dutton Avenue, Suite 239
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

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Ukiah, CA 95482

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