Modifications - Benjamin Law, P.A.

CHANGE HAPPENS – WE’LL HELP YOU ADJUST

Most people envision divorce as final, but that is not always the case. It is important to remember that divorcing parties are not done with each other following a court order; needs will change in some way that requires the parties to go back to court and make adjustments or modifications.

Reasons For A Modification May Include:

  • Parties no longer being able to follow an existing parenting plan
  • A child’s needs changing
  • A family needing to move due to a job change
  • Significant change in income or finances

The main purpose of a modification is to update a divorce decree, final orders, or current agreement to accurately reflect the current situation facing the parties. In a divorce finalized ten years ago, there will be several changes to consider such as: employment, medical costs, children’s sports and activities, etc. Through modification, parents can address these changes and update their orders to fit their current circumstances.

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Modifications - Benjamin Law, P.A.Types of Modifications:

Alimony Modification
Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes states that most types of alimony may be modified or terminated if the court finds “a substantial change in circumstances.” This substantial change must be material, unforeseen, permanent, and involuntary (although in certain circumstances, a change in circumstances that is voluntary may warrant a modification of an alimony award.)
Major health issues, long-term unemployment, and major increase or decrease in income are examples of what courts have found to be a substantial change in circumstances.

Child Custody Modification
Florida courts also require a “substantial change in circumstances” to modify a timesharing/child custody order. In addition, the parent petitioning for modification must show the court that the proposed changes are in the best interest of the child.

Modification of Child Support
Many parents in Florida are not aware of the circumstances that may warrant a modification in the monthly child support award they pay or receive. The court will generally modify a child support award if it finds that there has been “a substantial change in circumstances.”

This substantial change has to be material, unforeseen, and continuing in nature, meaning that:

  1. It has to change the child support amount by at least 15% or $50.00
  2. It must not have been recognized during the earlier court proceedings
  3. It must affect long-term net income

Significant changes in the amount of money you earn and/or the amount of time you spend with your children generally meet the substantial change in circumstances standard. If you earn more money and/or spend less time with your children, your child support payment may increase. On the flip side, if you earn less money and/or spend more time with your children, your child support payment may decrease.

Discuss Your Modification Needs with Our Lawyers
At Benjamin Law, P.A., we assist clients in modifying the terms or provisions of their existing divorce or separation agreement. Call us now to learn more about modifications and your options during a consultation and case evaluation.

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