Often orders which may have been previously entered by the Court will have to be modified over the years to deal with the changing circumstances of the family. Perhaps one of the parties wants to move out of State and needs to modify a Judgment prohibiting such a move. Perhaps the economic circumstances of the parties have changed making a modification of the amount of child or spousal support necessary.
Of course, the parties may agree to a modification. If they do, a stipulation (agreement) may be drafted, signed by the parties, and submitted to the Court to effect the modification.
However, if the parties do not agree, the general method in California for modifying orders is to bring an "Order To Show Cause" hearing. Depending on how busy the Court is, these hearings may be held in as little as 3 weeks.
At such a hearing the moving party must generally show that there has been a change in circumstances since the last order which justifies the modification. After the Court is satisfied that there has been a sufficient change in circumstances to justify a change in the order, it will proceed to hear the matter and make appropriate new orders.