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Tampa Family Law Modification Attorney

modification-of-orders.jpgWhen you finalize your divorce after navigating complex negotiations and resolving critical issues, you can begin the next chapter in your life. However, a time might come when you must modify part of your divorce decree. Whether you want to change the child custody terms, alimony obligation, or child support agreement, having an experienced Tampa family modification attorney on your side is beneficial.

Florida Law Advisers, P.A., understands the importance of updating a divorce-related order to meet your changing needs. Circumstances constantly evolve, and modifying a few terms or an entire agreement is sometimes necessary. Call or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about your order modification options.

To consult with an experienced Tampa divorce modification attorney, call: 1 (800) 990-7763

How Our Tampa Lawyers Help with Modification of Orders

The judge will determine whether a requested modification meets the required conditions and will serve the petitioner’s needs without causing unnecessary hardships to the responding party. Although you can proceed without legal representation, hiring a Tampa Modification of Orders attorney from Florida Law Advisers, P.A., is your best decision if you’re thinking about a modification.

We can gather evidence and create a strategy to effectively argue your position, whether you’re requesting the change or defending against it. We can speak to experts such as business valuators, child psychologists, and forensic accountants. For example, the modification can significantly affect your child if you’re pursuing different child custody terms. A psychologist can offer opinions on whether changing the custody arrangement will benefit the child or harm them.

We can also be a strong advocate for your position in the matter. We will support your arguments with valuable documentation regarding the change in circumstances and why the modification is or isn’t necessary. If you’ve engaged a lawyer, the judge will likely take your case more seriously and consider it worthy of a review.

Tampa divorce modification lawyer near me 1 (800) 990-7763

How Are Modifications Granted in Florida?

You must prepare for an upcoming hearing when the judge schedules one after the request to modify a previous order. That means obtaining all documentation necessary to present as evidence. You should also bring a copy of your existing order and notes about the changes you want to make or arguments against your former spouse’s proposed changes.

The party who filed the petition for an order modification can speak about their case at the hearing first. Any arguments must outline the facts of the case, including the substantial change in circumstances requiring the modification. The petitioning party can also submit evidence to support their request.

The other party can respond before the judge by agreeing to or opposing the requested changes. There might be significant factors that could prevent a modification to the order.

For example, the petitioning party might have lost their job and would need to alter the terms of child support. However, the responding party might have also experienced a significant decrease in income and need financial assistance.

The judge will hear each person’s case and review the presented evidence to determine how to rule. If they approve the request, they will issue a new order to replace the previous one. If they deny the request, the current order will remain in effect.

What Is a Modification of Orders?

A modification is an amendment to a court order after a finalized divorce. Either party involved in the arrangement can petition the court for a change.

You can request to modify almost any part of your divorce decree, including child support, alimony, or child custody and visitation. For example, you might need to reduce the child support obligation after losing your job or getting demoted. If you need to move to another state, you must petition the court for different custody and visitation arrangements.

What Types of Events Qualify for Post-Divorce Modification?

There must be a substantial change in circumstances for any party involved in a post-divorce order to request a modification. What qualifies as a change in circumstances depends on the unique aspects of your situation.

To determine whether a change is substantial, it must meet at least one of these factors:

  • Significant
  • Involuntary
  • Permanent
  • Unplanned
  • Material

The party requesting a modification must also prove there was no way of anticipating the circumstances changing when the judge issued the initial order. Presenting convincing evidence to establish that, and to show that the change in circumstances is substantial, is crucial. Otherwise, the court likely won’t grant the request.

Contact an experienced Tampa divorce modification attorney today

How Do Modification Requests Work in Florida?

You can modify a post-divorce order, such as alimony or child custody, in one of two ways.

The first is to agree to new terms with your former spouse. That option is more beneficial because you have more control over the case’s outcome. Instead of a judge deciding on the issue, you and your ex can negotiate and find a suitable solution that meets everyone’s needs.

The second method is to file a petition for order modification. You’ll have to go this route if you can’t reach an agreement. That means the matter goes to court. Instead of resolving the dispute yourselves, you leave the decision in the hands of a judge.

After you file the petition, your former spouse must respond by filing an answer with the court within 20 days. Both sides can gather evidence and prepare for the scheduled hearing, where you will present your cases before a judge.

The process is much more time-consuming and costly than settling the issue in private. You must pay filing fees and court costs. You’re also responsible for attorneys’ fees if you hire a lawyer. You should consider negotiating with your ex to establish an arrangement that benefits everyone involved to avoid the overwhelming responsibility of prepping for a hearing and letting a judge control your future.

What Are the Best Ways to Increase My Chances for a Modification Request?

The courts don’t grant all requests for family law modifications. Whether a judge will approve the modification depends on the evidence and whether the petitioning party can prove a substantial change in circumstances. Although you can’t predict how your case will end, there are steps you can take to improve your chance that a judge will issue a new order.

You must show that your actions are in line with the initial court order. That means proving you consistently met your obligations as they were outlined in the agreement. If your ex has evidence showing you missed alimony payments or dropped off your child for their scheduled visitation late on multiple occasions, the judge is less likely to amend the order.

A judge will never approve a modification request if there isn’t a change in circumstances. Having an argument with your former spouse or the fact that you didn’t agree with the signed order aren’t sufficient reasons to petition for a modification.

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What Are the More Common Situations for a Modification of Orders?

The challenges of a divorce can seem never-ending. However, you settled the matter through mediation or a trial and came out on the other side with the rest of your life ahead of you. Although the terms in the order suited your needs back then, they might not apply now.

You must meet specific requirements to request a modification, but under most circumstances, you can petition the court in matters involving:

  • Modification of Alimony
  • Modification of Child Support
  • Modification of Time Sharing and Parental Responsibility
  • Geographic Restriction Modification

Child Support Modification

A court might amend a child support order for similar reasons they would use to modify alimony. Additional reasons can include:

  • Increase or decrease in childcare expenses
  • Parenting time has increased or decreased since the initial court order
  • Change in health insurance costs for the child or either parent

Alimony Modification

Either party can file a petition to modify an alimony order. There must be a material difference in finances due to a substantial change in circumstances.

Common reasons for alimony modification include:

  • Involuntary job loss
  • Substantial increase or decrease in income or cost of living
  • Significant changes in health
  • Either party’s death
  • Promotion at work
  • Supported spouse starts cohabiting with a romantic partner
  • Serious bodily injury, illness, or disability

Timesharing Modification

The person requesting a modification to timesharing must submit evidence proving specific elements of the change in circumstances, just as they would for any other type of modification.

A change in circumstances related to timesharing modification can include events such as:

  • Sufficient evidence of abuse or neglect of the child by either parent
  • A doctor diagnoses a parent with a severe mental illness
  • The parent with primary custody of the child relocates over 50 miles away from the current home
  • A parent suffers from substance abuse

Call or Text 1 (800) 990-7763 or Submit a Consultation Request Form Today

Contact Our Tampa Divorce Modification of Orders Attorneys Today

firm logoYour original divorce decree might have been an accurate representation of the factors affecting your life at one time. But your life looks different now, and you might need to increase alimony or arrange a different visitation schedule. Whatever the issue, Florida Law Advisers, P.A., is here to help.

We will protect your rights, meet your interests, and seek the best possible result. You can count on us to fight by your side until the end. Call us today for a free consultation if you want to modify a post-divorce order.

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Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

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Phone: (800) 990-7763

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Phone: (800) 990-7763