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Can You Modify a Divorce Decree?


Under Florida law, what is commonly known as a divorce is called a dissolution of marriage. The process of dissolving a marriage may feel like an eternity. The couple and the court need to make decisions concerning property division, child support, alimony, and more. This process can be incredibly difficult. Once everything is said and done, you might think the agreement is set in stone. However, this is not entirely true. There are some instances in which a decree may be modified. Here we will discuss when and how you can modify your divorce decree.

When Can You Modify a Divorce?  

Florida allows modifications only in certain circumstances. You cannot make modifications to a divorce regarding the distribution of marital assets. These judgments are final. You can, however, make modifications to the following aspects of a divorce decree:

  • Child custody and support;
  • Timesharing; and
  • Alimony.

In order to make modifications, the party initiating the modification must demonstrate substantial changes in circumstances. Once the final judgment has been made, it can be difficult to modify. If you are interested in filing for a divorce decree modification, you should speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney. The following is a brief explanation of how and when you make modifications to these aspects of the divorce decree.

Modifying Child Support and Custody  

You can make changes to a child support arrangement when either parent experiences a dramatic change in circumstances. Any changes in either parents’ financial standing could lead to changes in child support agreements. For example, if the payee parent has an increase in income, the payer parent may ask for a modification. They may seek lower payments.

In regards to custody, Florida requires a detailed parenting plan as part of a divorce decree involving minor children. These issues are often the most emotionally trying in divorce cases. Changes in the parenting plan could lead to explosive actions from either party. If you wish to modify the parenting plan, you should seek the help of an experienced attorney.

Modifying Alimony  

Alimony agreements are made with considerations to both parties. The court will consider the need of the payee party and the ability of the payer party to pay. Changes in the financial standing of either party could lead to changes in the agreement. A decrease in payments requires a decrease in income that leaves the payer unable to make alimony payments. Similarly, an increase requires an increased need on the payee’s part. Both parties must demonstrate their need and ability to pay in order to make changes to the alimony agreement.

Contact a Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorney  

Life can bring about unexpected changes at any time. When a divorce is completed, agreements are made according to present circumstances. If either party experiences a substantial change in circumstances, they can ask for modifications. The process will require legal action in courts, so you should be sure to contact a Florida divorce attorney. Edward J. Jennings, P.A. has the experience necessary to assist with your case. Contact today to speak with an attorney.




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