Maitland Modifications Lawyer
No one expects a family’s life to stay the same forever. In fact, Florida family law courts actually anticipate that circumstances can change over time and so allow people who are subject to child support, alimony, or child custody orders, to modify those orders. Although possible, modifying a legal order can be complicated, as it requires strict compliance with specific standards, so if you believe that your own custody or support arrangements are no longer feasible, consider reaching out to an experienced Maitland modifications lawyer to learn more about navigating this process.
Modifying an Alimony Award
Under Florida law, someone’s obligation to provide financial support to a former spouse (alimony) can only be altered in a couple of ways. The first is by proving that a substantial change in circumstances makes the old order unreasonable. What satisfies the definition of “substantial” varies depending on the court, but many Florida judges have routinely held that non-voluntary job loss, the birth of a child, a change in relationship status, or the onset of disability or illness are enough to satisfy this standard. Courts are also willing to modify or terminate alimony in the event of one of the party’s deaths or upon the remarriage of the recipient.
Modifying a Child Support Order
Florida courts also allow parents to request modification of a child support award, although such a petition will only be granted if the parent can satisfy the substantial change in circumstances standard. For child support purposes, increased or decreased income can justify a modification of a support order. However, there will usually need to be at least a ten percent change in income to qualify as a substantial change. Demonstrating that the paying parent is also spending more time with the child, specifically overnight visits, can also be enough to lower one parent’s child support obligation.
Modifying Child Custody Arrangements
Courts take a variety of factors into consideration when creating a time sharing plan, including where the parents live and work. But some of these factors can change over time. Perhaps one of the parents takes on more or less work, or is diagnosed with a serious illness or disability. One parent may eventually need to relocate for work or have additional children. In other cases, a child’s increasing age may simply require less supervision. Whatever the reason, the parents will need to take specific steps if they want to officially change their custody arrangement. Often, parents are able to reach an agreement in an out-of-court setting, in which case, the parties need only draft a new parenting plan and submit it to the court for approval. Otherwise, the parent who wishes to make the change will be required to formally petition the court for permission.
Call Anderson & Ferrin for a Free Consultation
If you are subject to an alimony, child support, or child custody order and have questions about whether that order can be changed, call a dedicated Maitland modifications lawyer at Anderson & Ferrin for advice. Call 407-412-7041 today to learn more.