Brandon Post-Divorce Modification Attorney
When a couple is going through a divorce, they are looking forward to one key event: the final decree. This is when the battle ends and the court agrees to a formal order allowing a marriage to be terminated.
While ending a marriage can be a relief, don’t get too excited. This agreement is not set in stone. The court understands that nothing stays the same forever, so the final divorce decree can be modified as life changes. For example, if a person loses their job or suffers a disability, they may not have the income to keep paying for child support or alimony. If a person commits a crime and goes to jail, and they have children, their parental rights may be terminated.
Some things can change after divorce is finalized, which means that a post-divorce modification may be necessary. While not common, post-divorce modifications do occur from time to time when major life situations occur. They tend to crop up when one party violates a court order, such as failing to pay child support or alimony.
How to Modify the Final Decree
In Florida, there are two main ways to modify a divorce decree. The preferred way is to come to a mutual agreement with the other party. This option is easier and allows you to stay out of the courtroom. If the other party refuses to accept the new terms, though, you will have to file a petition for modification. Your attorney can do this, but it requires a lot of paperwork and is similar to filing a lawsuit. This option can be costly and time-consuming.
You will need to have evidence to prove your case in court. You will be required to prove two main elements:
- You experienced a significant change in circumstances.
- The modification is in the best interests of the child.
For child custody, for example, a change in circumstances could include the following:
- A parent’s work schedule changed.
- The child’s parental preference changed.
- One parent is abusing or neglecting the child.
- One parent wants to relocate outside of the geographic area.
For child support or alimony, the party must prove changes to their financial situation, such as:
- Job loss or significant reduction in hours
- Disability or medical condition that makes it difficult to work
- Caring for more children
- Changes to the child’s financial needs
Contact a Brandon Family Law Attorney Today
It’s important to know that once a final divorce decree is issued, it can still be modified even years after the divorce. This is because life sometimes changes and something such as a child support or alimony order may no longer be valid for certain reasons.
Do you need to modify your divorce decree? If so, Stephanie Koether from Koether Law, P.A. can help. Our Brandon post-divorce modification attorney will assess your situation and give your divorce the personalized attention it needs. For a hands-on approach, contact our Brandon office to schedule a consultation.