Circumstances change in family law matters and the parties often find themselves in a situation where they need to reopen their prior divorce or custody case as a result. The need to modify a prior child support order or custody arrangement comes up frequently in family law cases. When there is a substantial change in circumstances, the parties have a right to petition the court to modify the prior custody agreement, child support order or visitation schedule. But what usually happens is that the parties enter into an informal, unenforceable arrangement that causes more problems than it solves.
The courts will not modify these agreements for any reason, however. It must be substantial and significant. Contact our office to see if your change in circumstances warrants a modification of your prior court order. The Kirlew Law Firm are experienced Miami family law modification attorneys and can help you decide whether you need your prior agreement or court order modified
There are several reasons why people may seek to modify a divorce decree or a custody order. It could be for reasons of child support, visitation, overnight timesharing, education or medical issues, financial or otherwise. These are what we call significant life events that are a substantial change in circumstances and warrant a modification of the prior agreement or court order. Some of these changes in circumstances may include:
- Losing a job;
- Making more money;
- Making less money
- Serious injury or illness;
- Mental or physical disability;
- Relocation of one or both of the parties;
- The child becoming emancipated;
- The child’s behavior or educational needs change.
If you have experienced any of the above or something similar that you think might qualify as a change in circumstance warranting a modification, contact our offices and we will discuss your options with you.
Absolutely. Every modification request must either be done via motion if the case is still open, or a supplemental petition if the case is now closed. In either circumstance, the other party retains the right to challenge and contest the modification request being sought by their ex-spouse or the other parent of their child. Courts grant modifications when they are in the best interest of the child. But the unilateral decision of one party to do something that changes the circumstances of the other party or the minor child is not in of itself a reason to change the prior agreement or custody order. That is why it’s important to have an experienced lawyer review the modification request and advise you on your legal rights and how to successfully challenge the modification request.
Contact the Kirlew Law Firm at 305-521-0484