How to Modify Florida Support and What To Avoid
The divorce process can be stressful and difficult to manage, especially if there are children involved in addition to property. After the former spouses start their new lives, each one must adhere to the divorce decree issued by the family law judge. Often the court-ordered document addresses several factors that were at issue, and finally resolved, during the divorce process. These may include child support, alimony, and property division, among others. Under Florida law, in some circumstances alimony and child support may be modified, if the movant can show a substantial change in circumstances.
Filing a Petition
While a substantial change in circumstances may provide one spouse the opportunity to modify a court order, it is important to know what should be avoided in order stay away from common mistakes that occur during this process.
- Alimony: prior to requesting a modification of alimony, a petition must be filed with the court showing a “substantial change in circumstances” has occurred to justify the modification in the first place. For example, if the paying spouse seeks to lower alimony payments he or she must show demonstrate the inability to make the same amount of payments due to a demotion or job loss.
- Child support: just as above, a petition must be filed with the court demonstrating a “substantial change in circumstances” prior to seeking a modification of child support. In such a scenario, substantial change in circumstances may include a change in income of either parent, a change in child care expenses, or a change in the overnight parenting pattern. Under Florida law, a modification petition is allowed when the request would result in a change of support of at least 15 percent or $50, whichever is greater.
While many people believe an agreement with their ex-spouse modifying alimony or child support is sufficient, this is not the case. A trial court has discretion over modification and the only avenue to achieve modification is through the court system. An agreement with your ex-spouse will not protect you in the future.
Contact an Orlando Divorce Attorney
It is not uncommon for individuals to underestimate the importance of having a skilled family law lawyer on their side when seeking modification of a divorce decree. Often, those who attempt to do this on their own, or pro se, fail to provide the proper information required to successfully seek modification resulting in a denial of the petition. do not try to do this on your own. If you or someone you know is thinking of filing a petition for a modification of a divorce decree, or is facing any other family law issue, the experienced legal professionals at the office of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. in Orlando can assist you through this process. Call (407) 521-7171 today to schedule your initial case evaluation.