The modification of a divorce settlement in Florida is possible if conditions significantly change since the last divorce order had been issued. Alteration is most often achieved by having a family law lawyer file a request with the court where the original procedures were held. The spouse seeking the change is known as the applicant. The request is served on the applicant’s ex-spouse, who is known as the respondent. The respondent is also able to challenge the alterations requested. The applicant must demonstrate that the changes are a matter of vital importance.
On the other hand, if ex-spouses agree about the proposed modifications, they might be allowed to sign an agreement and move forward with the modified terms and have the court integrate them into an updated court order.
What Can Be Modified In a Divorce Decree?
When all is said in done, in most instances, property division can’t be changed. Most courts are hesitant to return to those issues. More often than not, modification requests are based on spousal upkeep or issues with the children of the marriage – for example, visitation, child care and support. Keep in mind, if spousal alimony is not in the original divorce settlement, it might be hard to add it at a later date, regardless of whether conditions have changed or not.
Amounts designated for spousal upkeep and/or child support previously granted by the court is based on the finances of the spouse paying the support. To figure that out, the court will begin with the gross pay of the paying spouse, and consider any other elements related to the fundamental needs of the ex-spouse and kids. The court will likewise consider any other children that the paying spouse is taking care of.
For the most part, the specific terms regarding child support frequently require adjustment as the fundamental needs of a child increase significantly as they grow up. Additionally, if the finances of the spouse paying the support runs into trouble, and they are no longer capable of making the installments outlined in the original agreement, the paying party may need to ask for a modification to what they pay for spousal and child support. There are likewise numerous reasons modification of visitation and custody terms might be asked. For instance, if the custodial parent disregards the child or ignores the visitation plan, the non-custodial parent may pursue changes in custody rights.
Casual Agreements and Divorce Settlement Modification
It is important that you understand casual informal agreements between parties to raise or lower support or change the terms of a child’s care or visitation rights won’t change the terms of the divorce agreement. For instance, regardless of whether both parties consent to a decrease in support commitments, the award stated in the divorce order will take precedence. In the event a spouse receiving support chooses to uphold the terms of the original ruling later on, in spite of any casual or informal agreement that may exist, the other spouse will in all likelihood be compelled to pay all of the overdue debts.
Steven Winig is a Divorce Lawyer out of West Palm Beach, Florida with nearly four decades of experience.