In the context of family law, modification has many applications. To modify a plan or order means to change it. The proof requirements in order to modify an order for alimony, child support, time-sharing, etc. depend on what the party is seeking to modify and how he or she is seeking to do so. The court may increase, decrease, confirm, or eliminate terms of an order, such as monetary support or the number of overnights that a child has with each parent.
In order for a party to modify a parenting plan or time-sharing order, the party seeking to modify must show substantial, material, and unanticipated change of circumstances. Further, the party must show that the modification would be in the best interests of the child that is the subject of the parenting plan or time-sharing order. The court will consider many factors when evaluating the best interests of the child, including but not limited to each parent’s ability to facilitate and encourage the parent/child relationship, length of time the child has lived in a stable and satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity, the geographic viability of the parenting plan, the moral fitness of the parents, and evidence of violence (including child abuse and neglect), etc.
The ability of a party to modify an alimony award may depend on either party’s change in income, whether the recipient spouse enters into a supportive relationship, or some other change in circumstances.
With regard to child support, the court may modify the amount, terms, and conditions of child support if it is in the best interests of the child, if the child emancipates, if a party experiences a substantial change in circumstances, along with other bases to modify child support.
There are other types of orders that may be subject to modification as well. The attorneys at Nicole L. Goetz, P.L. have experience both pursuing and defending supplemental petitions for modification. We also have the knowledge and experience to assist you during the original action, whether a dissolution of marriage or other type of action, in order to help you understand the ways to decrease/increase the likelihood of future modification and also understand the circumstances upon which modification may or may not occur.
Whether you are just beginning the court process or whether you are seeking to pursue or defend a supplemental petition for modification, we can help. Please contact our office in Naples, Florida to schedule a confidential consultation and receive legal advice based on your unique circumstances.