After a dissolution of marriage is finalized and the settlement agreement is signed by both divorcing spouses and approved by the court, or after the court enters a final judgment of dissolution of marriage or paternity, the expectation is that the terms agreed upon will be sufficient and fair for life after divorce. However, several life situations can occur that will prompt  the need for modification. The question is often asked of a Florida modification attorney which provisions are modifiable and after how long can a modification be requested?


What can be modified following a Florida divorce?

Some agreements or  court orders following a dissolution of marriage or a final judgment of paternity may be modified when there is a substantial change in circumstances. Provisions pertaining to alimony, child support, and parenting plans are all modifiable. Property division in Florida is not modifiable. For detailed answers regarding your specific Florida divorce case, it is advised to consult with an experienced modification attorney.


Shared Parental Responsibility & Parenting Plans

The concept of shared parental responsibility and a parenting plan, and the terms of your agreed upon or court-ordered parenting plan are modifiable if there is a substantial change in circumstances since the execution of a settlement agreement, or court order, or final judgment. If shared responsibility was a part of the final judgement but circumstances have changed, it is possible to modify shared parental responsibility to sole parental responsibility. It is also possible to order one parent as the final decision-making authority regarding particular issues such as medical decisions, educational matters, and extracurricular activities in which a child will participate.


Child & Spousal Support

An original settlement agreement or judgment may provide for a specific amount of child support based upon the circumstances that existed at that time. Again, there is always the possibility for a substantial change in circumstances regarding the income of either parent. A divorced father who has since lost his job through no fault of his own can file a motion for modification asking for a reduction in his child support or alimony obligations. On the flip side, the mother in that situation can file a motion to increase the amount of support after it has been reduced upon the fact the father has once again gained employment.

Certain types of alimony can also be modified if there has been a substantial change of
circumstances. Let’s say a spouse is ordered to pay $500 a month in alimony for a period of three years. Upon a substantial change in circumstances both the amount of alimony and the duration of alimony are modifiable.

For more information regarding modification of divorce terms in Florida, attorney Stephen H. Butter is at your service. With over 50 years of experience practicing family law litigation in Aventura, you can count on him for competent and professional legal care. Call him directly at (305) 333-7159.