Life is constantly changing for each ex-spouse after a divorce, and procedures in the Florida family law system have been created to anticipate these changes. If your parenting plan, child support, or alimony (spousal support) arrangement is not working for you, you may have options. In Florida, even though a divorce may be finalized, certain post-judgment modifications can be made. If you wish to make changes to a final judgment, you need to reach out to a Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer who can help. At the Law Offices of Carmen G. Soto, we have more than 16 years of experience in helping clients resolve their family law issues in a thorough and thoughtful manner. We represent people throughout Broward County and can communicate in Spanish for the convenience of our clients.Post-Judgment Modifications Following a Divorce
When their circumstances change, an ex-spouse can request that an existing court order be modified to more appropriately reflect the current situation. Under Florida law, once a divorce is finalized, there are three things that can be modified: child support, spousal support, and parenting plans.
In order to modify any aspect of a final judgment in a divorce, Florida law requires that there be a “substantial change in circumstances” since the final judgment was entered. The Florida Legislature and the Florida courts have defined a “substantial change in circumstances” to be one that is substantial, material, and unanticipated at the time of the final judgment. In short, the change should render the existing order impractical. Once the party seeking the modification has established the substantial change, the modification will likely be granted.
In Florida, child support is based on a mathematical formula set forth in Florida Statute 61.30. Parents may want to change an existing child support order for a number of reasons, such as a substantial change in income, one parent having another child in another relationship, changes in the amount of time that the child spends with each parent, or changes in the child’s educational or medical needs.
Spousal support (alimony) orders can be modified just like child support orders. Again, the party seeking the modification needs to show that the modification is necessary due to a significant change in circumstances. For example, if the receiving spouse is seeking an increase in support, he or she must demonstrate both the increase in their need for the money as well as the paying spouse’s ability to pay. On the other hand, if the paying spouse is seeking a downward modification, it can be to reduce the amount of support being paid or eliminate support altogether. The paying spouse may cite reasons such as loss of employment, a change of employment, the remarriage of the receiving spouse, or an illness or health problem that interferes with the paying spouse’s ability to work.
Once a parenting plan is in place, one or both parents may want to change it as time goes on. The parent seeking the modification must establish that the current arrangement is no longer workable. Examples of changed circumstances may include one parent moving, scheduling clashes with work or school, the alleged abuse of a child, or a change in the child’s health, interests, or activities. You should be aware that just as with any other timesharing (child custody) determination, a Florida judge will only modify a parenting plan if it is deemed to be in the best interest of your child.Explore Your Options with a Knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale Attorney
If you are considering seeking a post-judgment modification following a divorce, you need to speak to a Fort Lauderdale lawyer who will take the time to develop a strategy for your needs. Attorney Carmen G. Soto recognizes that legal services can be expensive, and she offers flexible payment plans to suit each client's financial circumstances. Also, we are situated close to the Broward County courthouse, which means that we can save our clients travel costs and parking fees. We represent people in cities such as Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Davie, Plantation, Sunrise, Lauderhill, Weston, Tamarac, Margate, Hallandale Beach, and Lauderdale Lakes. Call us today at 954-523-0703 or contact us online.