Have circumstances changed since your family attorney helped you finalize your divorce? Do you feel as though the agreement you made during your divorce is no longer applicable due to changes in the lifestyle of you or your ex-spouse? Is a child support modification—or a modification of any sort—something you feel is necessary?
At the time of your divorce, you received counsel from a family attorney that (hopefully) placed you in the best financial situation. If this is no longer the case, a modification of the terms of divorce is something you can pursue.
What are some of the more common reasons that this would occur?
Cost of Living Adjustment
In most cases, a Cost of Living Adjustment is placed inside the agreement as a clause. This means that if there is any adjustment to the cost of living after the original document is signed, the support payment amounts can be adjusted in coordination.
Change of Law
State laws change rather frequently, and if there is a change to a Florida law that would affect the current support payment schedule in place, a need for modification can be filed. The new law will be taken into consideration when the case is heard.
Increased Need for Support
Has your ex-spouse come into a larger sum of money than they had during the original proceedings? Have they just received a significant raise?
Or how about you? Have you lost your job or had to take a reduction in pay? Does this alter your ability to support yourself or your child the way you were able to before?
Either of these life changes can alter your financial stability and could therefore be grounds for a modification to your current agreement.
Decreased Need for Support
When the recipient of support remarries, begins living with someone else, or receives a raise in pay, a child support modification or alimony modification could be filed to decrease the current amount owed. Depending on the financial livelihood, the court may decide to minimize—or cancel altogether—the owed payments.
This can often times be placed into an original divorce decree and states that the recipient of payments shall receive an increase when the paying party’s income increases. Having an escalator clause in the beginning can prevent the need for litigation years after the divorce has been finalized.
An increase or decrease in support payments for a financial emergency will depend on which party is incurring the expense: the paying party or the receiving party. In the event the paying party find themselves in an emergency—such as loss of job or need for a large payment such as a medical bill—payments could be temporarily decreased. If the receiving party is the one with this scenario, then the payments could be temporarily raised.
Child support modifications or alimony modifications can be made if either the recipient or the payor becomes disabled. If the payor becomes disabled, a modification to lower payment amounts can be filed. Conversely, if the recipient becomes disabled—either of child support or alimony—a request to increase can be filed.
New Financial Support
If the party paying support finds themselves in a situation where they have incurred a new financial requirement—such as getting married and/or having another child—a modification to the original agreement can be made.
In Need of a Child Support Modification or Alimony Modification?
As an experienced family attorney, I can walk you through the process of modifying your current arrangements with your ex-spouse. Contact me today and we can discuss what needs to happen next.