Florida Divorce Modification Lawyer

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Fairway Law Group

Florida Modification of Final Orders Attorney

The Deerfield Beach family courts understand that certain changes in a family’s life can make the initial orders that were created in a divorce decree no longer applicable. When you or your family experience a substantial change in circumstances, certain orders, such as child custody, alimony, or child support, can be modified to fit those changes. To effectively file for modification, it’s helpful to work with a Deerfield Beach divorce modification lawyer.

Alimony can be modified when either party experiences a long-term change in income, resources, or a similar relevant change. Child support can be modified when there are substantial changes to any factor set forth in the Child Support Guidelines. Child custody orders can also be modified if it is in the child’s interests. One must file a petition in the same Court that made the initial child support or other divorce order.

Modifications are meant to help when the initial divorce order no longer fits the needs of the parties or the interests of a child. Not all changes in circumstances enable you to file for a modification, but an experienced family law attorney can help you determine if you qualify.

Modification of Divorce Order Attorneys in Florida

The attorneys at Fairway Law Group can provide you with the guidance and information you need to successfully file for a court order modification, and our attorneys can advocate for your needs in court. When a change in your life requires a modification, we can help you determine a fair and reasonable modification for the circumstance.

Whether you and the other party agree on the modification or not, we can help you protect your family’s needs and determine the ideal solution for your modification. If the modification petition deals with child support or custody, we can help you determine what is in your child’s interests.

Our attorneys have more than 20 years of combined experience in these matters, allowing us to provide you with creative and effective divorce order solutions. We also have significant experience in litigation, and this can help when advocating for your modification to the court. Every family is different, and each requires a unique approach to the modification of their court orders. At Fairway Law Group, we can provide our clients with personalized and cost-effective legal support.

How Do I Modify a Divorce Decree or Marital Settlement in Florida?

You may wonder how alimony payments, child support, child custody, and other divorce orders work after you finish your divorce. Modifying child support and other orders in a final divorce decree or settlement agreement is an important topic for many parents and ex-spouses, and we’re here to help explain how it works in Florida.

Child support, child custody, and alimony orders are not set in stone and can be modified when there’s a substantial change in circumstances. You may have a divorce decree that was created by the court, or you and your co-parent or ex-spouse may have created a settlement agreement outside of court before submitting it to the court. In both cases, a modification works the same way, as both types of orders are enforceable or modifiable by the family court.

Here’s what you need to know:

Agreement to Modification

When you wish to make a modification to the modifiable portions of a divorce decree, there is a chance that you and your co-parent or ex-spouse agree on the change. If both parties agree, you can make the change, and then file a modification request with the court for approval. When parties use this method, a substantial change in circumstances is not always required.

In most cases when parties work together on the agreement modification, the court will approve it. When the modification involves children, the court will only approve it if the change is in the child’s interests.

Substantial Change

However, when parties do not agree on the modification, then the party filing for the modification must prove a substantial change in the family’s circumstances. This usually means a significant increase or decrease in either parent’s or ex-spouse’s income, change in childcare costs, or changes in the child’s needs.

A substantial change must also be relevant to the type of order modification that you are requesting. A change in the financial needs of either party, the income or resources of either party, or the financial needs of a child may be reasons to modify either alimony or child support.

Examples may include:

  • A child or ex-spouse has increased medical needs.
  • A co-parent or ex-spouse loses their job or has an increase in income.
  • An ex-spouse begins cohabiting or remarries and no longer needs the same level of financial support.

Child support orders can also be modified in Florida if they have not been modified or reviewed in 3 years, and they will not end for more than 6 months after the modification is received.

A relevant change for modifying child custody may include:

  • Changes in the ability of one parent to care for a child
  • The relocation of one parent
  • Marriage or remarriage of either parent
  • The changing wishes of the child


To modify child support, a petition must be filed with the court that originally ordered the support. You’ll need to show evidence of the substantial change that’s occurred since the last order and show that the change is in your child’s interests. The court will consider each party’s wishes and the change in their lives for any type of modification.

When you are the party filing for modification, you have the burden of proof to show that there has been a change. This can sometimes be difficult. Additionally, any modifications made on the basis of a lower income cannot be of your choice. If the court determines that you voluntarily lowered your income or resources to lower your child support payments, a modification will not be approved.

Filing for modification can be a more straightforward process with legal support.

Temporary or Permanent Changes

The modification can be temporary (for example, if one parent has a temporary decrease in income) or permanent (if there’s a significant, ongoing change like a new job or disability). For certain types of court orders, however, a temporary change in circumstance will not be significant enough to allow a modification. Discuss your specific situation with an attorney to determine if you have the grounds to temporarily modify a court order.

Retroactive Modification

It’s important to know that modifications can’t be retroactive. They are effective from the date you file the modification request, not the date the circumstances changed. This is why it is important to file for a modification as soon as possible after a change has occurred.

What Can’t Be Modified

Property division in a divorce order is final and, therefore, cannot be modified because of a change in the financial circumstances of either party. However, in some cases, an appeal for property division decisions may be appropriate, such as if important information was not disclosed during the distribution of property by the court. If a spouse hid marital or separate assets to impact property division, there may be a way to alter how the property was divided between spouses.

Appeal vs. Modification

Appealing a divorce order may be allowed if there was a legal and/or procedural error during the process of creating the divorce order. If essential information was not accounted for at the time of the order’s creation, an appeal may be appropriate. A modification is necessary when the initial order was accurate at the time but no longer fits the family’s needs.

Do-It-Yourself or Attorney Help

While you can file a modification request yourself, it can be beneficial to have an attorney guide you through the process, especially if your case is complex or if the other parent disagrees with the modification.

Please remember, this is a quick overview and individual cases can vary. Contact the team at Fairway Law Group today to learn how we can help you and your family navigate changes in your life.


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