Certain parts of a divorce judgement may be modified which are specifically:
- Child Support
- Child Custody
Getting Alimony Modified in Florida:
Alimony is monetary support one spouse pays to the other spouse after a divorce. The Florida courts will modify alimony when there has been a substantial change of circumstances of one or both spouses. These circumstances may include a job loss, death, illness or injury, a remarriage of either spouse, or retirement. Cohabitation of the receiving spouse is also considered a substantial change of circumstance. If the spouse that is receiving alimony begins a live-in relationship with someone who contributes to her financial support, then Florida courts consider the additional income as grounds for a possible reduction in the amount of alimony the spouse will receive.
The process to modify alimony begins by filing a Supplemental Petition for Modification of Alimony with the Circuit Family Law Court in the county that the original divorce was filed.
The Supplemental Petition needs to include the names and addresses of both spouses, the date of the original divorce, the original sum of alimony with a payment schedule and an explanation of the substantial change of circumstances that has initiated the request for alimony modification and the change that is needed. The Supplemental Petition will need to be signed before a notary or deputy court clerk with a copy of the original divorce decree attached.
Other forms that will accompany the Supplemental Petition will include the settlement agreement, If the spouses reach an agreement on the modification, Family Law Financial Affidavits detail the spouses financial situation, then a certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Compliance certifying that each spouse has truthfully disclosed any and all required financial information to the court.
After filing, the Supplemental Petition and additional documents will be served to the other spouse. The other spouse has 20 days to file an answer. If no agreements are reached by mediation the modification issue will go to trial. At trial the petitioning spouse must prove they are entitled to the modification requested in the Supplemental Petition.
Child Support -Modification of Child Support:
Child support is modifiable under Florida child support law, if the change would be at least $50 or 15% , whichever is greater. Any time a parent establishes the basic requirements for modifications, that parent may file a petition for modification of child support. Any time there is a substantial change in circumstance and there is a prior court order in place that requires child support, a parent may file for a modification. The most common reason for a change of circumstance and therefore needing a change in child support is a change of income. There is no absolute amount the income must change before filing for modification but the revised change in the child support amount will be changed by $50 or 15%.
Modifications of child support may be considered by the substantial change in parenting time. Recently a new child support law strengthened the case to modify child support based on parenting patterns.
Changes in expenses: Changes in child related expenses may justify changes in child support. Some of the more common changes in expenses may be daycare expenses as related to the parents employment needs. Other reasons for a change in circumstance may be healthcare insurance for the child. If premiums change or the health insurance for the parent becomes a deduction to the gross income, this drastic change can support the modification case.
Child Custody/ How to Modify a custody or parenting plan in Florida
To modify a child custody plan in Florida, you must get the judge’s approval. You file a petition in court and the judge will then hold a hearing to decide if there was significant changes of circumstances and the judge will only approve a change if it is in the child’s best interests.
If you can come to an agreement with the other partner, you can complete a new parenting plan and sign it in the presence of a notary public and submit the plan to the court.
If you are not able to reach an agreement with the other parent , you must file a petition in court. Along with the motion you must file a proposed parenting plan. A copy of your motion and your proposed parenting plan will be filed with the clerk of courts and a copy served to the other parent. The court will set a date for your hearing.
Some examples of potential changes may include:
- A parent not following the current plan
- The unfitness of a parent
- One parent relocating
- A criminal conviction of one parent
- Changes in the child’s needs.
- A job change of a parent that influences the time sharing with the child.
- The child living in a potentially harmful situation
You do not need to deal with the challenges of a modification of your divorce decree alone. At the law office of C.J.Hilliard Law,P.A. we are committed to helping you and assist in resolving your legal issue. If you wish to obtain a modification to your existing divorce judgement, then retain the help of an experienced Orlando modifications attorney.