Grounds for Modification of a Court Order
Life is always changing. After you get divorced, the changes you experience later in life may affect your ability to obey a court order that was issued during your divorce. Court-ordered alimony or child support could be impossible to pay if you have lost your job. As a custodial parent, you may have been offered a better job opportunity out of state but are restricted by the other parent’s court-ordered visitation rights. Perhaps you want to have a custody order modified because the current custodial parent is not fulfilling his or her duties as a parent. Whatever the case may be, The Law Firm for Family Law can help! We serve cities throughout Pinellas County, including Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs, and New Port Richey.
You have the right to request modification of a court order if you have experienced a significant change in circumstance or if the circumstances of the other party have changed and are affecting you. You will need an expert family law attorney by your side who can help you present a strong argument to prove that circumstances have changed. The court also takes your child’s best interests into account in all cases that involve your children, so you will need a lawyer who keeps that in mind. Our firm has handled more than 1,800 family law cases and has the knowledge and skill to help you obtain a modification.
The two most common areas for modification are alimony and child support and time-sharing with the children. The alimony and child support issues are a function of one party’s ability to pay them. The ability to pay is presumed once a Court order is put into effect, so the burden of proof is on the party seeking to modify the payments. They must prove that their ability to make the alimony or child support payments has been affected by a substantial change in circumstances. This substantial change in circumstances must be significant, material, permanent, involuntary and unanticipated. Temporary unemployment for example is not a basis for a modification.
With regards to children’s issues, parental responsibility and time-sharing, the same substantial change of circumstances standard applies. The Courts do not want parents running back to court over relatively unimportant things. The Courts are not set up to micromanage the parties’ post-divorce lives. Accordingly, in order to change parental responsibility or the time-sharing schedule, there must be a change in circumstances that is significant, material, permanent and that was unanticipated at the time of the original order.
This substantial change in circumstances standard can be difficult to meet. However, there are several different ways that the standard can be overcome. Our expert family law attorney can analyze the facts and circumstances of your case and tell you whether or not you are entitled to an decrease (or increase) in alimony or child support and he can also tell you whether or not you meet the standard for changing a parenting plan or time-sharing schedule.
Contact a Family Law Attorney Near East Lake
The Law Firm for Family Law only handles family law cases. We provide each client with personal attention and compassionate counsel. Each client at our firm receives the full attention of his or her attorney from start to finish and also has the support of a qualified team of associates and paralegals. Contact us today to schedule your free, initial case evaluation and learn exactly how we can help you obtain a modification. 727-531-8737