When the judge issues a final divorce decree in a Florida divorce, that judgment comes with a number of court orders regarding issues such as the payment of alimony and child support and the child custody timesharing and parenting plans between divorcing parents. These orders are intended to stay in effect for years, but circumstances sometimes change while the orders are still in effect. Changing a court order requires going back to court, which may be simple or not so simple depending on whether the proposed change is supported by both ex-spouses or contested by one against the other. Whatever the situation, the Orlando divorce modifications lawyers at the O’Mara Law Group can help by drafting and reviewing a modified agreement to present to the judge or by litigating the matter in court when a modification proposed by one party is contested by the other.
A modification of a Florida divorce order requires showing a substantial change in circumstances that was unforeseen when the original order or agreement was made. This rule applies to a modification of alimony, child support, or child custody and timesharing.
Modification of Alimony or Child Support
A common change in circumstances that may justify a modification of alimony or child support is a change in the income of either party. For instance, a job loss for the payor or an increase in income for the recipient may warrant a decrease in the amount paid. Likewise, an up or down change in the needs of the recipient may call for an up or down change in the amount of support. A former spouse receiving alimony who moves in with a new partner may no longer be entitled to continue receiving alimony. A child with special medical, educational or extracurricular needs that were unforeseen at the time of divorce may require a modification in the amount of support.
Modification of Custody and Timesharing
A modification of the timesharing and parenting arrangement may be appropriate in certain cases, such as when the child switches to a new school closer to the other parent, or the parent with primary custody takes on a new job and has less time to devote to parenting. When considering any modification of child custody, the court will consider whether a change is in the best interests of the child.
One of the most common reasons for a modification of child custody in Florida is a parental relocation. Whether starting a new job or a new life, a divorced parent may choose to make a significant move away inside Florida, out of state, or even out of the country. Under Florida family law, any move more than 50 miles away for more than 60 consecutive days counts as a relocation. A parental relocation with a child cannot be accomplished without first getting permission from the co-parent or the court. A move-away with the child can be considered a criminal offense if the proper procedures are not followed first. At the very least, it could negatively impact the parent’s ability to retain custody of the child.
Orlando Attorneys for Custody and Support Modifications
If you are seeking or opposing a modification of custody or support orders in a Florida divorce, make sure you get advice and assistance from qualified, experienced Florida family lawyers who can make sure your rights and best interests are protected. In Orlando, call the O’Mara Law Group at 407-634-6604 for help from a team of skilled and knowledgeable family law attorneys.
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