The Experienced Legal Advocacy You Need When Seeking To Modify Child Custody, Support And Alimony Orders

The conclusion of family law proceedings often brings a sense of finality and permanence – for better and worse. Those feelings may be warranted for certain outcomes, like the division of marital assets, which are very difficult to change after the fact. For some other aspects of your case, however – child support, custody and alimony – Florida law allows for modifications as needs and circumstances change.

If you need to petition the court to modify an existing family law order, it is critical to work with an attorney who will advocate vigorously and effectively for you and your children. In the Tampa area, look no further than the Law Offices of J. Anthony Franco, PLLC. In addition to having nearly a decade of legal experience in family law, attorney Franco is a skillful litigator who is equally comfortable in the courtroom as he is behind the negotiation table. He will help you craft a strong and convincing argument for why your family law order should be changed or kept as is, depending on your position.

Modifying Custody Orders To Meet The Changing Needs Of Children

Family law judges understand that children need the stability and consistency that a custody order provides. At the same time, they also realize that children’s needs, preferences and circumstances change as they age. Under Florida law, parents can modify an existing child custody order through a negotiated agreement or by petitioning the court. In a large percentage of cases, court approval is needed because parents cannot reach an agreement on their own.

If you are petitioning the court to modify the existing order, you must demonstrate that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. It must be significant enough to argue that the existing order no longer serves the best interests of your children. Seeking a custody modification is easier now thanks to a law enacted mid-2023. Parents previously had to prove that the this change was unexpected, but now, they must only show that is was substantial and material. There are many examples of changes that would necessitate a petition to modify, but a common example is one parent’s need or desire to relocate with the children.

Whether you are seeking a modification or seeking to prevent one, attorney Franco will be a zealous advocate for you and your kids.

Child Support Orders Can Also Be Modified

Financial circumstances are rarely ever static. In Florida, either parent can seek a modification to the child support order, whether for an increase or decrease, if there has been a significant change in parental income or a significant change in the financial needs of the children.

A modification may also be sought if there has been an official change in the allocation of custody (parenting time) or a consistent deviation from the parenting plan. In the first situation, for example, a parent who is granted more overnights with the kids could be entitled to more child support. In the second situation, if one parent consistently cares for the children far less often than the original agreement specifies, the other parent could seek a reduction in child support.

Seeking To Modify Or End Alimony Payments

As with child support, alimony can be modified either party has experienced a substantial change in personal or financial circumstances. Either spouse can petition to increase alimony, decrease it or end payments altogether.

Changes in circumstances could include things like increases or decreases in income, one party’s retirement, a medical emergency or declining health that makes it difficult or impossible to keep working full time.

It’s important to note that Florida’s alimony laws were altered significantly in mid-2023, and some of what you might have heard about alimony may no longer be true. You can learn more by visiting the alimony page.

Talk To A Skilled Lawyer About Court Order Modifications

If you live in northern Florida and want to discuss your options for modifying a family law order, contact Law Offices of J. Anthony Franco, PLLC, today to schedule an initial consultation. You can reach out online or call the firm’s Tampa office at 813-608-4024.