An award of alimony is typically subject to modification where there is a substantial change in circumstances that was not contemplated at the time of the final judgment. The change in circumstances must be “sufficient, material, involuntary, and permanent in nature." Substantial changes may include - without limitation - any of the following: (a) a permanent and involuntary reduction in income, (b) a change in a party's health that permanently, unexpectedly, and significantly alters the party's ability to earn income, (c) a significant upward change in the recipient's income; (d) a significant downward change in the recipient's need; (e) cohabitation in a supportive relationship by the recipient, or (f) remarriage by the recipient. There are many other circumstances that might justify a modification or termination of alimony.
Under certain circumstances, an award of alimony is not subject to modification. For example, lump-sum alimony is simply not subject to modification. Nor is an award of alimony that is designated in an agreement as "non-modifiable." An award of rehabilitative alimony is modifiable if there is a substantial change in circumstances, if the recipient does not comply with the rehabilitative plan, or if the recipient completes the rehabilitative plan. Although the amount of durational alimony is subject to modification, there is a presumption against modifying the duration of such an award.
If you have questions about modification or termination of an alimony award, please contact Richard J. Mockler at (813) 331-5699.
Child support is modified when there is a substantial change to any of the factors upon which child support is based. This change has to affect the monthly support obligation by 15% or $50, whichever is greater.
Child support can change when one parent spends significantly more time with the children. In certain cases, if a parent stops exercising his or her time-sharing, the other parent may be entitled to a retroactive modification. If the parties' time-sharing schedule is modified in the final judgment, this will almost always justify a change in child support if a child support modification is requested contemporaneously (warning, you cannot change time-sharing and then go back and try to change child support based on the change in time-sharing).
A material change in child care expenses or health insurance may also justify a modification of child support. If the recipient's income goes up, this may justify a modification if the increase is permanent in nature. If either party's income goes down, this may or may not justify a modification, depending on whether the change is permanent, unanticipated, and involuntary.
Contact Us To Protect Your Legal Rights
Contact Solomon Law Group, P.A. to speak directly with Richard J. Mockler or another attorney who is experienced in pursuing and defending modification actions in Tampa, Florida, regarding the details of your case.
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A family law final judgment entered by a Florida court with proper jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter is binding on the parties.
In a family law case, certain aspects of the final judgment govern people and relationships that are growing, changing, and evolving. The judgment is based on facts and circumstances that are bound to change.
Modifications involving custody require a substantial change in circumstances under Florida law. That change must be permanent and unanticipated by the final judgment. A change in employment, military status, or a parent's stability can constitute a substantial change in circumstances.
If your attorney, tells you that the change must be "involuntary," you should probably consider hiring another attorney. There is no requirement under Florida law that a change in circumstances must be involuntary to justify a modification of time-sharing. In other words, if you take a new job with daytime hours so that you can have overnights with your children, that change is voluntary and may justify a modification of time-sharing.
Even after your divorce is finalized, you may face complications in your own personal life, such as a difficult situation, financial loss, injury, or a change in circumstances that make the original order impractical or impossible. We offer experienced, dedicated advocacy to protect the rights and interests of our clients even after a divorce is finalized.
If you hire Richard J. Mockler as your Tampa family law attorney, we will take a strategic approach to pursue a modification of the final judgment where that modification is justified by a change in circumstances. If your former spouse is seeking modification where one is not justified, we will aggressively defend the judgment and your right to enforce it. Call now to learn how to achieve results in your case.
Call (813) 331-5699 or (866) 719-7570 to speak with an experienced Tampa, Florida family attorney.
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