Modification of Judgments Lawyers in Jacksonville, FL
Sometimes circumstances unforeseeably change and if so you may be entitled to a modification of your time-sharing rights as well as your child support or alimony obligations. Life goes on — people change, jobs change, relationships change, people move. Involuntary loss of employment often causes difficulty with or inability to comply with court-ordered child support obligations. On the other hand, a change of jobs that requires relocation to another state is sure to create time-sharing obstacles. If circumstances have changed then you may be entitled to a modification of the terms of your final judgment. In this case, it is time to contact a Jacksonville modification of judgments attorney.
How Do I Change a Family Law Court Order or Judgment?
The law on modification of judgments varies depending on the nature of the relief sought. In Florida, courts can only modify certain family law judgments. They include:
- Child support payments
- Parenting time and child custody
Modifying a judgment is often a complicated and difficult process. Before you attempt to modify a family law court order, it’s always in your best interest to consult with a modification of judgments attorney. A lawyer can help you understand your legal options and help you assess the strength of your judgment modification claim.
If your ex-spouse or partner refuses to modify the court order, you’ll need to file a petition to modify. This process involves filing legal documents with the court, developing your legal claims and compiling evidence, and presenting your claims to a judge. Because these hearings can quickly become contentious and complicated, it’s typically not in your best interest to proceed with a petition to modify before consulting with a modification of judgments attorney. A single mistake can result in a denied motion, as well as unnecessary delays and expenses.
However, not every divorce and separation is contentious. Sometimes, you can negotiate a voluntary modification agreement with your ex-spouse or partner. In these circumstances, both parties agree to a changed parenting time schedule or support award. While the court will still review your requested changes, a voluntary agreement is less disruptive and costly than petitioning the court. Consult with a modification of judgments attorney to learn more about out-of-court, alternative dispute resolution.
When Can You Modify a Family Law Judgment?
If your economic circumstances change, the court will not automatically change your property distribution, child support, and alimony award. In other words, you cannot unilaterally modify a court order. Instead, you must show a compelling change in circumstances that merits the modification.
For example, a person who is ordered to pay child support and loses their job should take immediate action by calling our Jacksonville modification of judgments attorney because failure to pay child support is punishable by contempt which can include a sentence of incarceration. Relocation of a parent can also constitute a basis for the court to reconsider the time-sharing or visitation arrangement.
There are important jurisdictional considerations to consider in cases involving modification of judgments. For example, Florida cannot modify an out-of-state alimony award. However, Florida can modify a California child support order once the order has been domesticated in Florida. Even though Florida courts cannot modify alimony awards from other states, Florida does have jurisdiction to enforce foreign alimony awards. If you need help enforcing or modifying an out-of-state court order, contact a modification of judgments attorney immediately. If we cannot help you, we might be able to refer you to a skilled lawyer in the correct jurisdiction.
A modification proceeding to modify court-ordered child support, maintenance or alimony can be filed in the county where the parties or either of them resided at the date of the execution of a settlement agreement, or reside at the date of the application for modification, or in which the agreement was executed, or in which the prior order was rendered.
Modification of Property Distribution
Unless your ex-spouse intentionally hid assets during your divorce, you typically cannot modify a court order dividing your property. In other words, once the court splits your marital assets, such as bank accounts, real estate, and personal property, it’s very difficult to modify the order.
For this reason, it’s always in your best interest to consult with an experienced family law attorney before you negotiate a property division agreement. Without experienced counsel, you can easily make mistakes that result in lost property and financial harm. For more information about Florida marital property division, contact the Law Office of A. Sam Jubran today.
Child Custody, Parenting, and Time-Sharing
Parenting and child custody schedules are a vital part of your divorce judgment. They protect your right to spend time with your child and make decisions on their behalf. However, as your child grows, their needs and your situation might change. If your parenting time schedule becomes impractical, impossible, or doesn’t reflect your child’s interests, you might consider modifying it.
Modification of judgments relating to parenting and time-sharing is available under Florida law. However, Modification of custody or time-sharing is only allowed under certain circumstances. Usually, the court will not disturb a prior custody determination unless there has been an unforeseen, substantial, and permanent change in circumstances, and that modification of custody or time-sharing is in the minor child, or children’s, best interest.
Some examples of changed circumstances could be the involuntary loss of employment, relocation of one or both parents, the onset of a disabling condition whether temporary or long-term, and the refusal of a parent to honor the time-sharing schedule. Not all changes are sufficient to meet the “substantial change in circumstances” test. For example, a parent’s subsequent remarriage alone does not constitute a substantial change in circumstances.
If you’re concerned about your current child custody order, contact a modification of judgments attorney at the Law Office of A. Sam Jubran. We’ll listen to your story, assess your claims, and help you understand your rights. We’ll also help you carefully assess your child’s best interests and build a plan that protects your child and your parenting time.
Modification of Alimony and Child Support Orders
Under certain circumstances, the courts will agree to increase, decrease, or terminate an alimony or child support order. However, you must show a significant change in circumstances. This typically involves an unexpected change in circumstances, such as a child’s:
- increased need for medical care,
- after-school care, or
- other special needs.
If you’re demanding an increase in alimony or child support, you also have to show that your former spouse has the ability to pay a larger amount.
If you’re trying to decrease or terminate a child support or alimony payment, you’ll come under a lot of scrutiny. Quitting a job or loss of employment because of misconduct does not constitute the changed circumstances required for the court to decrease or to otherwise modify child support. If you think you may be entitled to the modification of a final judgment because your circumstances have changed, then it is best to consult with an attorney immediately. You also should never terminate your child support payments without the court’s permission — doing so might result in criminal charges and penalties.
Modification of final judgments can operate retroactively which means you may be entitled to relief retroactive to the date of filing your petition for modification. If you would like to learn more about child support modification or how to modify alimony then you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. If you believe circumstances of either parent have changed and the court should modify custody in your case then you should consult with a Jacksonville modification of judgments attorney immediately.
Contact a Jacksonville Modification of Judgments Attorney Today for Your Free Consultation
Under certain circumstances, the court can enter an emergency order affecting a change in custody in 48 hours or less. Remember, when you need help with FAMILY LAW, choose FAMILY VALUES. Hire a Board Certified Specialist in Marital and Family Law to help you modify your rights and obligations under the law. The Law Office of A. Sam Jubran offer comprehensive family law services in Jacksonville, FL. Call (904) 360-6100 to speak confidentially with a Jacksonville Modification of Judgments Attorney on our team today.
FAMILY LAW. FAMILY VALUES.