Stipulating (Agreeing) Vs. Litigating California Divorce Matters

The word stipulate means “to agree” to something.  I get lots of calls where people want to modify, change, or create new orders related to their divorce both during the divorce proceeding or years after their divorce has been finalized.

There is a misconception that in order to have these orders changed that you have to go to court and see the judge.  This is not true and would be best explained with an example.

I had a guy call this week that said he wanted to file a motion to go to court so he could reduce his child support.  His income had gone down, while his former spouse’s had gone up.  His change in circumstances warranted making a change to the child support.

He was calling us because he had contacted an attorney who wanted $4,500 to file the motion and represent him for this action.  When he spoke with me, the first thing I asked him is if his spouse would agree to make the changes without having to go to court.

I told him that in cases where the numbers don’t lie, such as in this case using a dissomaster calculation (what the court’s use to calculate support) it is worth a shot to contact his former spouse and just explain it to her cordially to see if they can come to an agreement without having to go to court.

I told him to simply state the facts.  That his income has gone down and hers has gone up and per a new calculation the child support should be changed.

He then asked me why the attorney he spoke to would not have mentioned this tactic.  My answer was that there is no money to be made by parties that are in agreement.  They would rather suggest a course of action that drives in the most revenue for their law firm, essentially doing what is best for them and not their clients.

Make sure to grab your copy of my book while your at it. There is a lot of great information and you will learn a lot about divorce.