It is not strange for an ex-spouses to wish to alter a previous court order respecting issues of support and custody. A party seeking to modify their divorce agreement in Florida must demonstrate a continuing and substantial change in their living circumstances. Those conditions may include dramatic fluctuations in earnings, relocation to a different state, or issues related to the appropriate care of their children.
Timing of Modification Requests
Custody decrees are binding; however, they’re not set in stone; it’s possible to get them changed. Technically, it is possible to pursue a modification at any time. The court will not consider the alteration without a considerable change in your circumstances. It’d make no sense to allow a party to put the judicial court, an ex-spouse, or even possibly children through a repeat of the original proceedings.
Also, in most cases the need to prove that your circumstances have changed is even more pressing if you submit your motion within a year of the divorce.
Preparing for Modification
After a fair period of time has passed, almost all aspects of one’s life naturally changes with time. The court has a way of handling these changes in your life. An quality Florida Divorce Attorney will have all the information you need.
Your prior behavior is critical to your odds of success. Basically, you should always do your best to be a model parent, engaging in, and taking interest in all parts of your kid’s day to day life. If you’re late with assistance payments or overlook designated times with your kids, you’ll hurt your cause.
So, your model behavior greatly improves your chances for a modification of your divorce. This is particularly true if ex-spouses haven’t held themselves to the same high standards.
Keep in mind, good behavior should also incorporate a sincere effort to resolve any dispute or grievance amicably by correspondence. If at all possible, you should always use written forms of communication. Also, never take relatively minor issues to court. The judges’ sympathies could lie on the opposite side of the court if it looks like you are just being hot-headed, or wasting the court’s time.
If your attempts to be amicable have not worked, then a formal request for change may indeed be in order. Unless an overriding health or safety issue is present, you should be patient and take the time to compile a comprehensive list of the other parent’s offenses. With this evidence in hand, you will establish a solid case for your requests.
Before any court will give modification of alimony, it also requires evidence of a large change in lifestyle, including:
- Health Problems
- Potential for Promotion
- Medical Insurance
- Receiving a large inheritance
- Fraudulent activity
Most often, courts will doubt that prior agreements necessitate a change if there is only a small difference in your economic status, or if you quit your job.
Steven Winig is a West Palm Beach Divorce Lawyer in Florida with over 35 years of experience.