Modifications to Family Court Orders & Other Post-Divorce Issues
In Florida, courts are permitted to make changes to original family court orders when such changes are justified. These changes, however, must be substantial and not just temporary.
Examples of significant changes or post-divorce issues could include but are not limited to:
- Relocation. Moving a child away from the other parent may involve the need to take advantage of a better job, to remarry, or to be closer to extended family.
- Income shifts. A job loss or a substantial promotion can both impact your income either lessening or increasing your ability to provide necessary support.
- Illness or injury. An unforeseen medical condition on the part of you or your child can warrant necessary adjustments to child support and timesharing. These circumstances can also impact alimony obligations.
- Changes in a child’s life. A timesharing plan that worked for a toddler may no longer work for a pre-teen or a teen with different needs. Also, a child suffering a major injury or illness can impact existing orders. Educational and medical needs for the child may be at stake.
While the change to your life or your child’s life may unquestionably warrant the modification of an existing court order in your eyes, you should not make such a change without going through the court. Verbally changing the terms of a court order with your ex-spouse is not recommended. Verbal changes are not legally binding. They cannot be enforced and, should your ex-spouse renege on them, you could be taken to court and found be in contempt with negative consequences.
Furthermore, Courts do not take changes to existing court orders lightly. You will have to provide the court with sound evidence as to why such an order should be adjusted. Because of the legal requirements, it is best if you work with an experienced attorney who can prepare your case accordingly.