Circumstances often change after parties settle their issues. Whether it is a change related to the children, a change in income, a change in residence or a variety of other potential changes, many times it is appropriate to modify a prior order or judgment. Generally, the law provides for consistency and continuity, especially related to children. Therefore, there is specific criteria for being able to modify a prior order. Under Florida law, in order to modify a final judgment of divorce or paternity, you must file a supplemental petition to modify. Those orders and judgments are only modifiable where there is a significant and substantial change in circumstances or financial ability since the entry of the last order or judgment. Also, it must be shown that the change was not reasonably contemplated by either of the parties at the time of the order or final judgment. The party requesting the modification has the burden of proof of the change. In modifications involving children’s issues, such as timesharing, the best interests of the child will also be taken into consideration.
Although many issues are modifiable, it is important to note that some are not. These issues typically involve property distribution and debt allocation in a dissolution of marriage action.If you feel a modification is warranted in your family law matter, you should seek the advice of a qualified and experienced family law attorney. This is especially crucial if you are seeking to modify a financial issue as you are typically only entitled to modify back to the date that you file your petition.
If you have questions regarding whether or not a modification is possible in your divorce or paternity matter, contract Mr. Luther today to schedule an initial consultation.