How Can I Modify A Decision Post-Divorce?
During a divorce, there are many issues that must be determined before the divorce can be finalized, including spousal support, child support, child custody, and property distribution. While those decisions may have worked well at the time of the divorce, things change in the months and years following the finalized split, and it may be necessary to modify some of those decisions. If you believe that an issue in your divorce is in need of modification, the Tampa family law attorneys at Bubley & Bubley, P.A. are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a case consultation.
How to Make a Modification
There are two main ways that a modification can occur after a divorce. The first is through a mutual agreement with your former spouse. This is the easiest and fastest method of modification, as it eliminates the need for litigation. When both former spouses agree to the new terms, an attorney can help draft the proper paperwork and submit it to the court.
The second method of obtaining a modification of an order post-divorce is through a petition with the court. This method is appropriate when one former spouse wishes to make a modification and the other does not agree with the new proposed terms. However, it is important to know that only certain things can be modified, and a certain threshold must be met in order for the court to consider the modification.
What Qualifies for Modification?
Any issue that was determined during a divorce can be modified after the fact, including property distribution, spousal support, child custody, and child support. In order to qualify for modification, the former spouse submitting the petition for modification must be able to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the divorce was finalized. A situation qualifies as a substantial change in circumstances if it is permanent, material, significant, and unanticipated at the time of the final divorce decree. As such, if a former spouse disagrees with the outcome of a decision immediately after the divorce is finalized, an appeal may be a better option than a petition for modification.
Circumstances that may qualify for a modification often include the following:
- A spouse receiving alimony remarries,
- A spouse receiving alimony is cohabitating,
- A significant increase in income for either spouse,
- Permanent job loss of a spouse,
- Serious injury or illness of a spouse or child,
- Relocation of a parent,
- Retirement of a spouse paying support, or
- The discovery of hidden assets.
Circumstances that do not often qualify for modification include:
- Temporary job loss of a spouse,
- Requests for changes within days or weeks of the final divorce decree,
- Cost of living increases to income,
- Minor illness or injury,
- Willful unemployment of a spouse or parent.
Call or Contact Our Office
Do you wish to learn more about what qualifies for modification and how to modify a decision in your divorce decree? If so, call or contact Bubley & Bubley, P.A. in Tampa today to schedule a consultation.