Clients often ask about pursuing child and spousal support modifications.
However, there are a few things to consider before filing a Request for
Order with the court.
First, you need to have a firm grasp of what the other party is earning.
The best way to obtain information regarding income is to serve Family
Law Form 396 on the other party by certified mail. This form, entitled
"Request for Production of an Income and Expense Declaration After
Judgment," enables a client to obtain an Income and Expense Declaration
and recent State and Federal tax returns from their ex-spouse.
Only after you have recent earnings information can you determine with
counsel whether a Request for Order regarding modification of support
is feasible and — most importantly — advisable. To pursue
a modification without first evaluating the earnings of both parties can
leave you exposed in court to an order that is the exact opposite of what
Family Law Form 396 can be served once a year, after judgment. This procedure
allows you to keep tabs on what your ex-spouse is earning and will allow
you to continually reconsider whether a modification should be pursued.
As a first step in your inquiry, consider allowing an attorney to evaluate
your Judgment of Dissolution and your current earnings to determine whether
a modification may be justified. Sven Buncher, Senior Partner at The Buncher
Law Corporation is available for a free consultation.
Contact us to get started.