Even though you may have already hammered out a divorce agreement that settled property division, custody, child support, and alimony disputes, or even if you received a “final” judgment from the court after your divorce, a significant change in your circumstances – or you ex-spouse’s – may require a modification of the divorce decree or family court order. You or your ex-spouse may change jobs, relocate, or remarry. When circumstances change after a divorce, you need an experienced Boca Raton support modification attorney with extensive experience representing clients in matters relating to the modification of child support, alimony, and custody orders or other elements of your final judgment. Don’t hesitate to call Lewert Law in Boca Raton for legal help with any modifications in divorce orders or agreements.
WHY YOU MAY NEED A MODIFICATION
Substantial changes in your circumstances – or your ex-spouse’s – may require a modification of the court order. However, receiving the modification is not easy without the help of an experienced attorney. You will be required to provide proof that the change is warranted. In order to have a court-ordered parenting or time-sharing plan modified in Florida, you must demonstrate to the court that:
- a substantial, material change in circumstances has occurred
- a modification would be in the child’s best interests
What does the court consider to be a “substantial” change in circumstances? The change must be material and not anticipated at the time you entered into the original agreement. A new marriage, a new job, or a relocation – by themselves – do not constitute a substantial change in circumstances. Florida courts are extremely reticent to modify court orders regarding children, and courts will modify courts orders only when persuaded that the modification is in the best interests of the child. If you currently pay child support and your circumstances change – for example, you lose your job or become injured and can’t work – you must seek to have your child support order modified. If you simply stop paying court-ordered child support, you could be subject to a number of legal penalties.
Child support modification is not always requested to decrease the amount paid, it is also to increase it. Again, there has to be a substantial change in circumstances for the court to change an existing order of support. The Florida guidelines suggest that a change would need to be at least $50 either way.
Tina L. Lewert, Esquire. is a Florida Board Certified Specialist in Marital and Family Law. She has the special expertise needed to represent you skillfully and aggressively if you need to modify family court orders due to changed circumstances. Reasons why individuals seek to modify an existing custody, alimony, or parenting rights order include:
- changes in one or both parents’ income, including unemployment
- changes in time sharing or custody by the agreement of both parties
- disagreement by parents over the “best interests” of the child
- changes in an alimony recipient’s needs
- a child reaches age 18
- one parent seeks to relocate with the children
- child support needs have changed
- one parent is remarrying
- a new child has been born to one parent
- a death of a parent
The party seeking a modification has the burden of persuading the court to agree to the modification. Of course, there are exceptions and exceptions to the exceptions, so it’s imperative to discuss any potential modification of a court order with an expert Florida family law attorney.
When parents divorce in Florida, a parenting and child timesharing schedule is put in place. Especially if the children are young, that plan may have to be modified at some point because circumstances change over time. It can be challenging to seek to modify a timesharing schedule, and you’ll need the help and advice of an experienced Boca Raton family law attorney.
Florida courts want timesharing arrangements that benefit children, so any modification to a previously-approved timesharing plan must be approved by the courts. Florida courts are committed to always putting the best interests of the child first. Thus, when you petition a court to modify a previously-approved timesharing plan, the court will thoroughly investigate how such a modification might impact the child’s life. A Florida court will arrive at a decision based on what it considers the overall best interests of and impact on the child.
If the divorced parents have both agreed to the proposed timesharing changes, in most cases the court will agree as well. While it may seem easier to simply move forward and avoid the hassle of court, you shouldn’t do that. It is imperative to obtain documentation and court approval for a timesharing modification – in case, for example, there’s a subsequent dispute between the parents. If one parent seeks to modify a timesharing plan and the other parent opposes the change, a judge will make the final determination, based of course on the child’s best interests.
If you seek to modify a child timesharing arrangement in Palm Beach County or elsewhere in south Florida, it’s vital to obtain trustworthy, reliable legal counsel. Nothing is more important than your children, so make the call as quickly as possible and let an experienced Boca Raton family law attorney handle the matter for you from start to finish.
WHEN CHANGES HAPPEN, WE CAN HELP
Changes happen. Alimony, child support, and parenting plans sometimes become obsolete. A competent, experienced Boca Raton support modification attorney can help you modify and update family court orders to reflect your current circumstances. Whether you need to modify an alimony order because your ex-spouse is cohabitating or remarrying or because your child is now a teenager, Attorney Tina L. Lewert helps clients resolve these issues through a mutual agreement or with the court’s help. At Lewert Law, we can explain your options, protect your rights, and help you take the appropriate legal steps toward a brighter future for yourself and your children. We invite you to schedule an appointment by phone at 561-220-0123 or by e-mail through this website to discuss your needs, options, and legal rights as quickly as possible.