Can I change my divorce settlement? It’s a question we hear often at the Holden & Darby law office from our clients. Whether you live in Clermont, Tavares, Orlando or anywhere in Lake County or Central Florida, our divorce settlement modification attorneys can help you find the right answer.
If you’re like most people, you know your divorce process – and the process for finalizing your divorce settlement (called a marital settlement agreement in Florida) – was likely filled with tough negotiation. Yet circumstances change. Your children may be growing older. You may need to move or switch jobs.
That’s why Florida law allows changes to marital settlement agreements under certain conditions. If there has been an unforeseen, significant change of circumstances since the previous court order in a family law case, it may be necessary to seek the modification of a court order. A modification can be sought after a divorce, establishment of paternity or other final family court order.
What You Can (and Can’t) Change
Let’s say you gave up your car in your marriage divorce settlement. Now you want it back. It’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to do so. Items in your marital settlement agreement that deal with the division of marital assets and debts (such as your 401k, house or car) are extremely difficult to change.
But there are other matters that may be modified. These include:
- Financial terms related to ongoing payments – This includes items like alimony and child support.
- The way you share custody – Items detailed in your Standard Parenting Time Plan regarding the days and times the custodial and non-custodial parent see your children may be modified.
- Relocation and responsibility – Changes may occur if a parent of a minor child makes a request to move, or if a parental responsibility order must be modified.
What is Needed to Change Your Divorce Settlement in Florida?
To modify your marital settlement agreement, you and your ex-spouse either need to agree to a change, or you’ll need to petition the court to make a change. When making its decision on any modification request, the court will always seek what’s in the best interest for your child.
There are many factors that may lead you to change alimony, child support or custody sharing. A few examples:
- The custodial parent may become unemployed and can only find work in a different town.
- The non-custodial parent may get a significant pay raise at work which changes his or her ability to financially provide for a child.
- Either parent may suffer a disabling medical issue that directly affects the care of a child.
- A hike in private school tuition, day care costs or other expenses could create financial hardships for one parent.
- A change in living arrangements (such as a move to a larger house) may allow a non-custodial parent to spend more time with his children.
Examples like these are considered significant changes. For you to seek a modification to your marital settlement agreement, you must show that such a significant change has occurred in your life.
Consult with an Orlando Divorce Settlement Modification Attorney
If you experience a significant life change and want to modify your marital settlement agreement, it’s wise to talk to an expert family law attorney who knows Florida laws. The divorce settlement attorneys at Holden & Darby in Lake County received their law degrees from Florida schools. They work here. They live here. They have 35-plus years of experience in family law. We’ll use our experience to ensure a solid and well-represented case for modification.
Whether you live in Orlando, Clermont, Altamonte Springs, Longwood, Casselberry, Maitland, Winter Park, Winter Garden, Ocoee, Leesburg, Eustis, Kissimmee, St. Cloud, Auburndale, Bartow, Lakeland, Winter Haven the Villages or anywhere else in Central Florida, we will treat you like family. Our Holden & Darby law offices are conveniently located in Tavares, the county seat of Lake County.
Email or call us today to schedule your consultation.