Fort Lauderdale Supplemental Petitions To Modify
What is a post-divorce modification?
Post-divorce modifications are used to change an already existing court order for spousal support (alimony), child custody and child support modifications. At Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC, our divorce modification lawyer has helped numerous Florida parents secure a modification to correct an inequity in spousal support for the best interests of the child. While the court focuses on different factors for modifying alimony, child support or parental obligations, the process for each is the same.
If you believe that spousal support, child support, or child custody orders are unfair, you do not have the legal authority to simply change the terms of the order on your own. By refusing to abide by a custody schedule or withholding any financial support that is legally owed, you risk facing serious consequences if the court finds out. Instead of trying to change the arrangement on your own, there are specific procedures you must follow to modify the divorce judgments.
First, the best way to modify a court order is to discuss your issues with your former spouse and see if they will simply understand where you are coming from and agree to change the terms of the judgment. In many situations, they may realize that the judgment is no longer fully appropriate and may be willing to compromise and develop a new plan that is more fitting. An experienced divorce modification lawyer can help to facilitate compromise and even engage in mediation to try to reach an agreement regarding modification of the judgment.
Disagreement with an alimony or other child support or child custody modification
Unfortunately, in many situations, a former spouse may be less than willing to modify a court order. This can be especially true regarding orders for spousal or child support, as a modification can limit the amount of support they receive. If your divorced spouse disagrees with your proposed modification, you first have to submit a supplemental petition to modify the order with the court that initially entered the judgment. This petition must contain specific information and you always want to have a well-drafted petition that identifies or explains the following:
- The previous action taken
- The exact language and location of the language you are seeking to modify
- The change in circumstances that requires a modification
- The exact modification you are requesting
- Description of how this modification benefits your children
- Information on whether a Child Support Guidelines form is required
Also necessary to file are:
- A completed Family Law Financial Affidavit
- A completed Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit
- A completed family law form 12.902(j)
Following the completion of the form and required additional affidavits, you are required to file one copy with the other party and another copy in the proper Clerk of Courts location. Upon service, the other party then has 20 days to challenge your petition for modification. Thereafter, you may need to appear before the family law court to advocate for your modification. At Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC, we are particularly experienced and confident in our modification advocacy. We can guide you through this detailed process to present your case for modification for the best results.
The court will examine your petition and supporting documents to determine whether there is a legal basis for a modification. Because frivolous modification requests can waste time and resources of both the courts and the parties involved, courts will not modify judgments without a valid reason. In most cases, the law requires one party to have experienced a significant change in circumstances that warrants the modification. The court will evaluate whether your change in circumstances is permanent and substantial enough to change the terms of the judgment. Our experienced divorce modification lawyers can represent your interests and help convince the court that a modification is warranted and in your best interests.
Agreement of the child custody and support modification
Even if your spouse agrees to the modifications to the marital settlement agreement (MSA), custody agreement or child support agreement that you present after your divorce is final, the process is not particularly simple. You are still required to complete and file numerous technical forms and petitions to request your modifications with the court. While the court does offer some limited services, it cannot substitute for the dedicated guidance of an experienced family lawyer.
Opposing a Modification Petition
It happens all too often that your former spouse may file a petition for a modification based on frivolous reasons or even using false information. For example, they may claim that they need their support payments reduced because of unemployment when, in fact, they quit their job or limited their income voluntarily. Fortunately, you get the opportunity to present arguments in opposition to a modification requested by your former spouse.
An experienced modification lawyer can not only help you obtain a modification, but also can help you to oppose an unwarranted petition for modification. This can include presenting carefully crafted arguments and convincing evidence to the court and we have the skills and resources to help you do so. In addition, alternative dispute resolution methods can also be used to help you and your former spouse reach an agreement regarding a modification.
Contact us today for your free supplemental modification consultation
Our experienced attorney at Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC can help you best show the court in Broward, Miami-Dade or Palm Beach County that a significant unexpected change has occurred in your circumstances. Our Fort Lauderdale office is close to Broward Hospital, north of Davie Boulevard, and just three blocks from the county courthouse. Our office is open from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and we offer Saturday appointments by request for your convenience. Call us today at 954.817.0402 or contact us online.