MOFICIATIONS OF JUDGMENTS/ORDERS
Modifying Parenting Plans
Many of our clients want to modify their divorce or paternity judgment
for various reasons. Most of these clients fall into two categories:
(1) Those who didn’t hire an attorney to handle the initial case and are
looking for an attorney to clean up the bad judgment that was entered
in the prior litigation; and (2) those people whose circumstances have
changed since the entry of the Final Judgment. Unfortunately, even if
the original judgment is a bad one, the only ways to modify a judgment
is through an agreement or by filing a Petition for Modification. In
order to succeed in modifying a final judgment you must prove to the
court that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred since the
date of the judgment which justifies the modification of the judgment.
In most parenting plan cases the "substantial change" test applied by
the court is a difficult burden to overcome.
Florida alimony judgments may be modified by agreement of the parties or by a Supplemental Final Judgment if there has been a substantial, involuntary, permanent and unanticipated change in circumstances. Examples of such changes include retirement, an increase in the receiving party's income, long-term unemployment of the paying spouse, gifts, remarriage, or health issues. It is important that you consult with an attorney immediately if you believe that there is justification for seeking a change in alimony because the court can only modify an award retroactively to the date that you file a petition for modification.