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Litigating After Divorce: What You Need to Know about Divorce Modifications


Your final judgment of dissolution will determine how things play out after you are divorced. But circumstances change. Issues related to your financial situation are dynamic. Children grow older and their needs change. You switch jobs. Your income changes. This can directly affect child support and alimony payments. One spouse may have to relocate. Visitation schedules change. It may be necessary then to file for a modification of the final judgment of dissolution of marriage. There are numerous circumstances in which the final judgment of the dissolution of your marriage will need to be modified.

The Tampa, FL divorce attorneys at Westchase Law, P.A. can help you modify an official divorce decree based on changes to your situation. In this article, we will discuss child support modifications, alimony modifications, and visitation schedule modifications.

Rules for modification in Tampa, FL 

Court orders can be modified under certain circumstances, but you must go back to court to do so. The party looking to modify the official divorce decree will have to file a proper pleading and disclose the reason for the requested change. To modify alimony, timesharing, or child support, the petitioner must establish there is a substantial, material, unforeseen, and involuntary change in their current circumstances that warrants changing the official divorce decree.

Modifying an alimony payment in Tampa, FL

 In some cases, a party paying alimony may seek a reduction in their alimony payments to their former spouse. They may also seek to terminate alimony altogether if the recipient remarries. Only certain types of alimony can be altered post-divorce. For example, bridge-the-gap alimony cannot be modified. In some cases, only the amount (and not the duration) of alimony can be changed. Other forms of alimony can be changed based on need. However, the petitioning party must be able to establish a material change in their circumstances. This could include the loss of a job or a protracted illness.

Modifying child support in Tampa, FL

 The court determines the amount and duration of child support based on several factors that include the relative income of both parents, the number of children who are supported, and more. A change in the children’s expenses or needs or a change in the income of the supporting parent may be cause to modify an existing child support arrangement. A significant change in time sharing responsibilities may also justify a change to child support payments. If one parent only saw the children on alternating weekends, but now sees the children half the time, this might warrant a change in child support payments.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Divorce Lawyer Today 

There are several situations in which a court might grant the ability to change an existing divorce decree based on unforeseen circumstances. Changes to child support, alimony, or visitation, are quite common and the courts factor in all the relevant data when making a decision. That being said, the final judgment of dissolution is designed to be permanent and the court will only change the existing agreement when the circumstances warrant it. The Tampa divorce attorneys at Westchase Law, P.A. can help you modify an existing child support or alimony agreement. Call today to learn more.

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