Why Would Someone Seek A Modification After A Divorce Has Been Finalized?
A party may want to modify or change the court order as it relates to the children, child support or spousal support. In order to modify the court order, we will need to prove that there is a substantial, permanent, material change in circumstances that was not contemplated at the time that the last order was entered. For instance, one party has moved away or stopped effectuating their timesharing. A parent started abusing alcohol/drugs, neglects the children or the child is older and the circumstances related to the child have changed. Another example is the income of the parties have changed, a child has reached the age of majority or the recipient of support is cohabitating in a relationship or remarried. There are many reasons to modify the prior court order because circumstances change, the parties change, income changes or the children’s needs have changed. It’s important to contact me if you believe that a modification may be needed in your case.
Under What Circumstances Can Custody and Visitation Orders Be Changed?
Custody and child support issues may be modified by showing a permanent, substantial, material change in circumstances that was not contemplated at the time of entry of the last order. In any modification case, the courts will again evaluate the factors set forth in Florida Statute section 61.13 to determine what is in the best interest of a child and whether or not a modification of custody and visitation are warranted. The circumstances for a modification vary in each case. It’s important that if you believe that the best interest of the child would be served by changing custody or visitation to contact me to obtain a free evaluation of your case.
Must The Same Attorney Who Handled My Divorce Also Assist Me With The Modification?
I have handled many modification cases where the prior court order was entered in a different state, county or where the party was represented by other counsel.
Where Must A Modification Of A Divorce Decree Be Filed?
Generally, the courts have exclusive jurisdiction over the parties and the proceedings in the state and county where the original order was entered. However, as circumstances have changed, there may be reasons as to why the courts no longer have exclusive jurisdiction. For example, the parties move to different states or counties. If that is the case, we may have to file a Petition to Domesticate the foreign order. This means that we need the state of Florida to recognize and domesticate a prior court order from another state, before we can modify it or enforce it. The Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) also may govern were a modification may occur depending on where the child has lived for a certain length of time. It’s important that if there is a jurisdictional issue to contact me to determine how we need to proceed and where the action can be filed.
What Is The Process To Modify A Divorce Decree?
To modify a divorce decree, you need to file a supplemental petition for modification. Depending on the circumstances, the parties will have to file financial affidavits and mandatory disclosures. The parties may have to attend mediation, as the courts generally want the parties to try to work out an agreement before coming in front of the judge. If the parties can’t agree at mediation, then the courts can decide whether or not there is a substantial, material, permanent change in circumstances to award a modification.
Can A Request Or Petition To Modify A Divorce Be Challenged By The Other Party?
Yes. Many times, the other party will not be able to show a substantial, material, permanent change in circumstances to warrant a modification. For example, the payor of support may try to claim that their income has changed and therefore not able to pay support. This can be contested by obtaining their financial documentation and showing their income reduction was voluntary or that they are not reporting income. We can contest the alleged change of income and ask the court to impute income to them, seek our attorney’s fees in having to defend the matter. Alternatively, many clients wish to file contempt or enforcement proceedings or a Supplemental Petition to Modify based on other changes in circumstance in response. Each case is different. Therefore it’s important that if you are served with a Supplemental Petition to Modify or other legal action affecting your children and support to contact me for a free consultation.
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