We referenced the fluidity and “change over time” quality inherent across much of marital & family law in a recent Quinn & Lynch blog post. We specifically noted that post-divorce understandings reached between former spouses during the marital dissolution process are not uniformly immutable.
Some things understandably change down the road, and “sometimes an original court ruling, or final judgment may need to be modified.”
Here is a representative example: A former spouse paying child support could suffer on-the-job detriment such as a demotion, furlough or even firing that makes continuing payments at a previously designated level difficult or impossible.
And here is another oft-realized scenario: Some fundamental change in family dynamics (perhaps a parent’s illness, addiction or even death) flatly necessitates the revisiting of details set-forth in a current custody agreement or parenting plan.
The bottom line is that while certain expectations written in a divorce decree are envisioned as enduring and even permanent, much about life – especially as it centers around families – is anything but static. One or both divorced parties in Florida and elsewhere frequently feel a compelling need to seek material adjustment to an existing court order.
An empathetic and knowledgeable family law legal team can help them do that via a Supplemental Petition to Modification provisions of the Final Judgment such as parental responsibility.
Going before a court with such an agenda is far from a casual matter. We underscore on our website that a party petitioning for change must convince a judge that the need for material modification is substantial, material and involuntary in nature. Moreover, it must relate to a post-judgment matter that was unforeseen and that now reflects a permanent change.
The need for a party seeking modification to timely ally with proven legal counsel is both strong and urgent in such a matter. An informed and results-driven attorney can often help ex-spouses reach agreements without any need to invoke court intervention (e.g., through negotiations or mediation). Where that does not avail, an experienced advocacy team can present a persuasive argument to a judge urging an outcome that is solidly aligned with a client’s best interests.
We welcome contacts to our firm and the opportunity to meaningfully assist individuals focused on Post-divorce Modification or any other matter relevant to family law.