How Do You Modify a Divorce Decree?

If you believe the terms of your divorce are unfair or were created in error, you may be able to get a modification from the court.

Popular reasons people seek divorce modifications are changes in situations that effect:

  1. child support;
  2. alimony;
  3. child visitation; and/ or
  4. child custody.

Modifications and Changed Circumstances

There must be a substantial change in a person’s circumstances to warrant any adjustment to a finalized divorce decree. In Florida, there must be a 15% difference in employment or income capabilities of either party. You also must be able to prove that there’s been a permanent change in circumstance that couldn’t have been anticipated at the time of divorce.

Examples of events that qualify for modifications include:

  1. inability to make payments of child support or alimony;
  2. unavoidable increase in healthcare costs or insurance for parents or children;
  3. one parent moving to another city or state; and/or
  4. remarriage or cohabitation of the spouse receiving alimony.

Voluntary withdrawal from your current job or not making much of an effort to pay either alimony or child support are not grounds for a modification. To be granted a modification, it must be proven that not doing so would cause calamity in the seeker’s life.

How to File a Modification

There are two ways you can modify a divorce agreement in Florida. The first is for both parties to reach a mutual agreement on the modification and take that to the court. Or you can file an official petition for modification.

To file a petition for modification, you must:

  1. file a lawsuit;
  2. pay the filing fee;
  3. serve the other party;
  4. wait 20 days for a response;
  5. wait for the court to give a hearing date.

A qualified modifications attorney can help file your petition and get your case seen by a court quickly.

Attorneys You Can Count On

Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A. is determined to help every client reach their desired results. We have extensive trial experience and can give you expert legal guidance throughout your case.

Contact our firm online or give us a call at (727) 245-9009 for a case evaluation!