Orlando Parenting Plan, Child Support, and Alimony Modification Lawyers
Major changes in your life can make it difficult or even impossible for you to comply with the terms you agreed to during your divorce. If you are no longer reasonably able to meet your parenting, child support, or alimony obligations, our family law attorneys can help you seek a modification in the Florida courts.
Circumstances change. People move, change jobs, get fired, and get hurt. Businesses close, and economic downturns make it more difficult for everyone to get by. If your personal circumstances have changed, shouldn’t it make sense that your court-ordered obligations change as well?
The can, but they don’t automatically. This is critically important: If new circumstances no longer allow you to meet your parenting or financial obligations, you must find a way to meet them until you obtain a modification from the court. If you fall short of your responsibilities without obtaining a modification, you could face steep penalties through a petition for enforcement.
Seeking a Divorce Modification in Orlando
Under Florida law, former spouses can seek modification of the terms of their divorce if there is a substantial change in their personal or financial circumstances. Not just any change will merit a modification, and the courts will only consider requests under certain circumstances. The change must have a material impact on your ability to meet your obligations or your former spouse’s finances, and it must not be the result of your own doing in order to intentionally worsen your financial standing.
Examples of changes that may warrant a modification to your (or your former spouse’s) time sharing, child support, or alimony obligations include:
Health issues and physical injuries
Loss of a job resulting in long-term unemployment
Receiving a large raise or substantial gift or inheritance
Winning the lottery
Availability of medical insurance through employment
Remarriage of the former spouse receiving alimony
Failure of the paying spouse’s business
Relocation of either former spouse
Examples of changes that typically will not lead to a modification include:
Incurring additional expenses due to a second marriage
A moderate change in either party’s income
Voluntarily quitting a job
Getting fired on purpose
Modification of Alimony
Whether you are receiving or paying alimony, a substantial change in you or your former spouse’s financial circumstances could warrant an increase or decrease of the original alimony award. Among other changes that can warrant a modification is the receiving party’s entrance into a “supportive relationship” with a new partner. What constitutes a “supportive relationship” is set forth in the statutes; a remarriage is not required. If the alimony recipient is cohabitating with a new partner, it is worth speaking with an attorney to find out if a reduction or termination is warranted.
The paying party’s loss of a job or the receiving party’s realization of a new source of income are substantial changes that can justify a request for reduction or termination of alimony as well. Conversely, if the paying party receives a substantial raise or the receiving party loses a source of income, these are changes that could warrant a request for modification to increase the original alimony award.
Modification of Child Support
In Florida, child support obligations are calculated according to a set of guidelines contained in the Florida statutes. These guidelines outline the factors to be considered in determining both which parent is responsible for payment and how much the monthly payment should be. If a substantial change in one or both parents’ financial circumstances affects the calculation of child support under the guidelines, then a request for modification may be warranted.
Parenting Plan Modifications
If you or your former spouse has relocated (it is important to note that there a rules regarding relocating in the Florida Laws) or taken a new job, or if you are facing any other major change that affects you or your former spouse’s ability to take care of and spend time with your children, you may be able to file a petition to modify your parenting plan. As with alimony and child support, your petition for modification must be based on a substantial change such as those outlined above. In considering petitions for modification of parenting plans, the Florida courts continue to focus on protecting the best interests of the children involved.
McMichen, Cinami & Demps | Attorneys for Divorce Modifications in Orlando
Do you need to file a petition to modify alimony, child support, or your parenting plan? Contact our experienced family law attorneys for a confidential consultation. Call us at (407) 898-2161 or file out our convenient online form to discuss your situation and learn how we can help you.