Contact our Experienced Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Palm Beach Divorce Lawyers
If you have been through a divorce, chances are that you will require a modification to the agreement or court orders as time passes. It may be unlikely that both parties will continue for the rest of their lives in the same circumstances that led the court in the original case to make their determinations.
Filing for a modification is an important post-divorce decision that can have a substantial positive impact on your lifestyle if done successfully. Contact the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Palm Beach divorce lawyers at Young, Berman, Karpf & Karpf, P.A. for guidance.
What is a Modification in the Context of a Divorce?
Though divorce orders may have an air of finality (and some do, such as the division of marital assets), they can be modified should the circumstances of either or both parties change at a later date. Both parties to a divorce have a right to file for modification. The concept of modification serves the cause of justice — after all, the various factors that led to the court’s decision on matters of child custody, child support and alimony, for example, are unlikely to remain static over the years. Modification empowers the courts to respond to significant and legitimate changes in the circumstances of each party and dynamically alter their previous orders in accordance with those changes.
Qualifying for a Modification
In Florida, once the court has entered a divorce-related order (i.e., pertaining to child support, custody, alimony, etc.), that decision is only final with respect to the circumstances as they were at the time. Depending upon the issue, either party may be entitled to file for a modification when there has been a “material” change in circumstances relevant to the order at issue.
Suppose, for example, that you went through divorce proceedings years ago and were ordered to pay alimony to your ex-spouse. You later discover that your ex-spouse is engaged and will be remarried, thus potentially releasing you from the obligation to pay alimony. Given this material change in circumstances, you may file for (and could potentially receive) a modification to the original alimony order once your ex-spouse officially remarries.
Modification conflicts generally turn on whether the change in circumstances is “material.” The question of materiality is a fact-dependent one and courts must exercise some degree of discretion in evaluating the circumstances and determining whether they have materially changed to the degree necessary for modification.
For example, if you are a high-earning medical professional and have changed jobs, reducing your total income by roughly five percent, that might be insufficient to support a child support modification on its own. However, if you can show that there has been a corresponding five percent increase in your ex-spouse’s income, those two factors might together lead a court to believe that the change in circumstances is “material."
Contact YBKG Law for Guidance From Skilled Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Palm Beach Divorce Lawyers
If you believe that you have undergone a material change in circumstances such that you qualify for a divorce modification, we encourage you to contact Young, Berman, Karpf & Karpf, P.A. to request a comprehensive consultation with one of our experienced Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Palm Beach divorce lawyers.
Our nationally-recognized family law practice boasts board-certified attorneys who have spent several decades advocating on behalf of clients in complex divorce proceedings. Over the years, we have gained substantial insight into what it takes to successfully resolve a divorce (and pursue modification when circumstances allow).