Can Your Ex-Husband Amend Your Divorce Now That it's Final?

- Gary E. Williams

After getting through a nasty divorce, you assumed the final judgment was just that—final. The last thing you envisioned was reopening the wounds by having to address your ex’s request to make changes to the final judgment. Does Florida state law permit him to drag you back into court?

The answer is yes—under Florida Statute 61.14, Enforcement and modification of support, maintenance, or alimony agreements or orders—he can petition the court for changes to your divorce agreement. The law states: “When the parties enter into an agreement for payments for, or instead of, support, maintenance, or alimony, whether in connection with a proceeding for dissolution or separate maintenance… either party may apply to the circuit court … for an order decreasing or increasing the amount of support, maintenance, or alimony, and the court has jurisdiction to make orders as equity requires…”

The court recognizes that personal circumstances change over time and sometimes adjustments are required to a divorce decree to accommodate the new situation. The most common requests for divorce amendments include:

  • Spousal support or alimony
  • Parenting plan
  • Child support
  • Visitation schedule and time sharing
  • Relocation

In your case, your former spouse has requested a change to the amount of his alimony payments because he has lost his job. This may qualify as what the court calls a “substantial change in circumstance” under the law, and his petition to reduce his alimony obligation could be approved.

However, the law is complex and many other factors can go into a final decision. Don’t try to navigate through this legal maze on your own. A family law attorney can help answer your ex’s petition and to protect your interests. Contact us at (727) 531-8737.