Orlando Divorce Decree Modification Lawyer
A divorce decree modification may be necessary if you or your ex-spouse experience a significant life change, such as a loss of income, remarriage, or change in residency. These kinds of changes can impact child custody and time-sharing agreements, as well as child support and alimony payments. The Orlando divorce modification lawyers at the O’Mara Law Group have decades of experience helping clients navigate divorces and divorce decree modifications. Contact us today to schedule your free, confidential consultation.
Divorce decrees granted when spouses legally separate can cover a wide range of topics, including things like division of property, child support, child custody, visitation arrangements, and spousal support. Significant life changes can sometimes create legal grounds for requesting a modification in the original divorce decree. These may include things like landing a new job or, alternatively, suffering a job loss or sudden inability to work due to illness or injury.
The Orlando divorce modification lawyers at the O’Mara Law Group have developed a strong reputation among our clients for helping them handle divorces and other areas of family law. We handle our cases with utmost care and strive to achieve the best results possible for our clients each and every time. We are proud of the high quality of our services and are ready to help you. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
Can Divorce Decrees Be Modified in Florida?
Divorce decrees are generally meant to last for years. However, sudden life changes may create a need to modify your divorce agreement to better accommodate the needs of your family. Typically, adjustments to divorce decrees involve things like child support, alimony payments, child custody arrangements, shifts in employment, and household relocation.
Of course, before any changes can go into effect, you must file a request for a divorce decree adjustment and get it approved in court. The process can be difficult to navigate and generally requires you to negotiate with other involved parties—namely, your ex-spouse. The O’Mara Law Group has decades of experience helping individuals modify divorce agreements and is committed to securing the best results for you and your family.
Common Reasons for Divorce Modifications in Florida
At O’Mara Law Group, we understand that handling the long-term aftermath of a divorce can be complicated. Marriages and divorces are extremely personal and embedded in their unique context. That said, patterns do emerge. The most common reasons we see for modifying divorce decrees among our clients include:
- Financial changes: If you or your former spouse experience a significant change in your financial circumstances, such as long-term unemployment, a raise, or a significant financial windfall, there may be good cause to adjust the child support or alimony arrangements in your divorce decree.
- Medical situations: If you or your ex-spouse develop a significant illness, especially one that impacts either person’s ability to work, there may be grounds for an adjustment. Similarly, if a child of the former marriage develops an illness, this could also justify a change in child support payments, as well as custody and visitation rights. Changes in health insurance coverage can also create grounds for a modification.
- Remarriage and relocation: If either ex-spouse remarries, an adjustment in alimony payments may also be in order. Additionally, if one parent relocates their residence, this may impact child custody/time-sharing logistics and require a modification in the governing divorce decree.
Alimony Modification in Florida
Alimony payment amounts in Florida vary based on each ex-spouse’s needs and ability to pay. Importantly, there are several types of alimony, each with unique legal distinctions, especially when it comes to how long the underlying alimony arrangement will last
Alimony can be temporary, in which case it typically comes with an expiration date set by the presiding court. Depending on the circumstances of a divorce and the length of the underlying marriage, it can also be permanent. Sometimes, it may also be appropriate to modify the original alimony arrangement by shortening or extending its duration, as well as by adjusting monthly payments.
In general, alimony is intended to maintain a certain standard of living for the receiving spouse. When determining that standard after a marriage, the lifestyle enjoyed by the receiving spouse during the marriage is an important consideration. When making its decision, the presiding court will evaluate the available evidence, as well as a number of legally prescribed factors. Again, common reasons for alimony modification include things like:
- Changes in employment or income
- Medical disability
Child Custody Modifications in Florida
When determining child custody in a divorce, Florida courts heavily emphasize the well-being of the involved children. Again, there are many legally prescribed factors courts are required to apply when deciding how to proceed in a divorce decree. There are also many reasons to potentially modify a child-custody arrangement if circumstances change after a divorce, including:
- Parental death
- Child abuse
- Criminal behavior (e.g., DUIs with a child present in the car)
- Substance abuse
Further, divorced parents may not relocate more than fifty miles away with a child they have custody of without permission from a court. Doing so may result in serious legal consequences. If you need help relocating with your child after a divorce, our compassionate legal team can help you navigate the process. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Florida Divorce Decree Modification Process
Under state law, adjustments to child support or alimony arrangements in your original divorce decree must be requested in a Florida circuit court. Your written request should outline the reasons for the modification. After you submit this request, the court will consider the relevant factors, including each ex-spouse’s financial situation and payment history, before handing down a written decision explaining whether or not the request is granted.
If you or your ex-spouse contest a court’s modification, mediation may be an appropriate first step toward resolution. If this situation arises, our attorneys are ready to help you negotiate a divorce modification that works for both parties and can be sanctioned by a court. If a mutual agreement cannot be reached through mediation, we can make sure you put your best foot forward as the court makes a final determination.
How Can O’Mara Law Group Help With Your Divorce Decree Modification?
- Mark O’Mara: Founding partner Mark O’Mara has over 40 years of experience as a Florida divorce and family lawyer. He is certified as a Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and as a Circuit Civil Mediator. He currently serves as President of the Central Florida Family Law American Inn of Court.
- Cathleen Winter: Attorney Cathleen Winter is an experienced family lawyer. She received a 2021, 2022, and 2023 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch recognition for her work in Family Law. In 2021, Super Lawyers also selected Cathleen as a Top Rated Family Law Attorney.
- Mark Rabinowitz: Attorney Mark Rabinowitz joined the O’Mara Law Group in 2023. With over two decades of experience as a family lawyer, he focuses his practice on complex marital and family law issues. He has also served as a member of the Marital and Family Law Certification Committee of the Florida Bar and the Family Law Rules Committee.
Our Orlando Divorce Decree Modification Lawyers Are Here to Help
For many people, a divorce can be among the most difficult and distressing experiences in their lives. In some cases, the need for a divorce decree modification can be similarly difficult for ex-spouses and their families. Working with a skilled attorney who understands Florida marriage and family law can help ease the burden.
The legal team at the O’Mara Law Group is ready to help you navigate your divorce decree modification. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.
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