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Modifications Attorneys in Melbourne, FL
Modifying Settlements, Agreements and Judgments throughout Brevard County
Even the most well-crafted and comprehensive settlement or judgment may need to be modified after your case is finalized, simply because your needs and your children’s needs can change over time. At the Figueroa Law Group, P.A., we have the in-depth knowledge and experience it takes to successfully modify your divorce or paternity settlement.
Contact us online or call (321) 326-8250 to learn more about your options for modifications.
Reasons for Modifications
There are many reasons why it may be necessary to modify your divorce or paternity judgment. For example, you may move to a new state, get a new job, or face unforeseen financial changes as a result of health or job loss. You may also want to revisit aspects of your parenting plan or time-sharing arrangement.
Modifications to Parenting Plans
If you are currently living under the terms of a parenting plan that no longer meets your needs or reflects your lifestyle, you may be able to request a modification through the court and be able to prove a substantial, material, and unanticipated change in circumstances and a determination that the modification is in the best interest of the child. Determination of the best interest of the child is made by evaluating all of the factors affecting the welfare and interest of the child and the circumstances of the family per Section 61.13 of the Florida Statutes. Courts have broad discretion when granting modifications. The process involves proper analysis and preparation of the case so working with a skilled Melbourne, FL, child custody attorney is in your best interest.
Modification of Child Support:
Either party may apply for modification of the court ordered or agreed to child support award whenever the financial circumstances of either party changes substantially, or the child, who is a beneficiary of the agreement or court order, reaches majority. Section 61.13(1)(a)(2), Florida Statutes, provides three grounds for modification, however, § 743.07(2) may provide a fourth in limited circumstances:
- When the modification is found to be in the best interest of the child;
- When the child reaches majority, is emancipated, marries, joins the armed services, or dies;
- When there is a substantial change in the circumstances of the parties; or
- If 743.07(2) applies, it provides that, “This section shall not prohibit any court of competent jurisdiction from requiring support for a dependent person beyond the age of eighteen years when such dependency is because of a mental or physical incapacity which began prior to such person reaching majority or if the person is dependent in fact, is between the ages of 18 and 19, and is still in high school performing in Section 61.30(1)(b), Florida Statutes, specifically provides a means to satisfy the grounds of substantial change of circumstances noting that if the amount provided by the guidelines under the present circumstances of the parties is different by at least 15% or $50.00, whichever is greater, than the previously ordered obligation.
Modification of Timesharing:
Modification of timesharing requires an extra-ordinary burden of proof of a substantial and material change of circumstances not contemplated at the time of the original timesharing plan.
Section 61.30(11)(e), Florida Statutes, provides that “[a] parent’s failure to regularly exercise the court-ordered or agreed time-sharing schedule not caused by the other parent which resulted in the adjustment of the amount of child support pursuant to subparagraph (a)10 or paragraph (b) shall be deemed a substantial change of circumstances for purposes of modifying the child support award. A modification pursuant to this paragraph shall be retroactive to the date the noncustodial parent first failed to regularly exercise the court-ordered or agreed time- sharing schedule.”
Modification of Alimony:
The court entering the support order generally retains jurisdiction to enforce the award and to consider modification at any time during the period provided for the support to be paid.
To bring an action for modification of alimony they action must be brought in the circuit where either of the parties resided at the date of the execution of the agreement, or in which either party resided at the date of the application or in which the agreement was executed, or in which the order was rendered.
Fla. Stat. § 61.14(1)(a) authorizes a modification of support when there is a substantial change in circumstances. The change was not contemplated at the time of the final judgment of dissolution. The change is sufficient, material, involuntary and permanent in nature.
Modification can be based also on a supportive relationship. The party seeking to modify has the burden of proof to show that a supportive relationship exists per section 61.14(1)(b) of the Florida Statutes.
The amount of alimony modified must be based on both the needs of the payee and the payor’s ability to pay, just as it is in an original order.
What is a Substantial and Material Change:
A substantial change may be in either the child’s needs or either of the parent’s income (increase or decrease). There must be a clear showing of the substantial change in the financial circumstances of either party occurring after the entry of the order awarding alimony. A substantial and material change is one that significantly impacts the ability to pay support. The substantial change must not have been anticipated.
Proving Substantial Change in Circumstances:
The party seeking change in the amount of child support has the burden of proving a substantial change of circumstances which is significant, material, involuntary and permanent in nature. Courts interpreting the meaning of the term “substantial change of circumstances” have found that such a change in circumstances must be significant, material, involuntary, and permanent in nature to warrant a reduction in payments. Support can be modified only upon showing of a change in circumstances since the last order.
Prepared to Litigate
Naturally, it is quicker, simpler, and more affordable to settle any post-divorce modifications outside of court. Our modification lawyers in Melbourne, FL can assist you in negotiating a modification settlement.
Unfortunately, there are situations where an ex-spouse can be unreasonable and unwilling to make fair and appropriate changes. If this happens, we are prepared to aggressively pursue your rights in court so that your interests and those of your children are respected and protected.
Our dedicated and experienced attorneys can work closely with you to identify your desired changes and then advance your needs through the legal system. We will keep you informed every step of the way and do everything we can to see that your modification or divorce is fair and realistic based on your current circumstances.