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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.  


Modifying Alimony

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. 


Modifying Child Support
Child support may be modified when a change in either party's financial circumstances would cause an increase or decrease in child support of $50.00 per month or 15% of the current award, whichever amount is greater.  The change has to be involuntary (a parent cannot quit his or her job and expect an decrease in child support). Child support may also be modified in the event that daycare or health insurance expenses change.   If you have any questions regarding modifying your existing child support order you may contact Attorney Valentine at 727-536-0022 for your free consultation.  
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