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Modification and Enforcement

If your financial and personal circumstances have changed since the signing of the divorce decree or paternity, both the father and the mother may be able to petition the court to modify the original order. The modification may result in an increase or decrease of the child support or alimony obligation in light of your circumstances, if you can prove that there has been a substantial, material, unforeseen and ongoing change in circumstances since the signing of the court order. Certain life events may require modification of timesharing and/or alimony or child support, for example: job loss or reduction in pay, a raise or promotion, the emancipation of a child, or a change in the needs of a child or a spouse.

The timesharing also may be subject to modification if there is evidence that the child is in danger at home the other parent because of abuse, neglect, domestic violence or drug use. In that case, the Court shall order an investigation to determine the suitability of the parents, which may include a home assessment and / or psychological evaluation. Parents can also decide for themselves that the timesharing should change. The Court must approve the new plan signed by the parties.

Any part of a trial is subject to enforcement. There are many ways in which the State of Florida can encourage compliance with their orders. Wage garnishment, contempt of court and heavy fines are the remedies used by the courts to encourage compliance. If a court found a party in contempt of a court order for failure to pay child support and / or alimony, the court may impose jail sentences and fines. The court may also garnish a party’s wages to avoid future arrears of child support payments.

Failure to return the children at the assigned time or interfere with the rights of custody also can lead to contempt charges and repeated violations can lead to the reopening and the potential modification of the parenting plan.

The consequences of failing to obey a court order can be significant. If you are struggling to pay for support, it is best to seek a modification of support rather than not pay child support. It is important to know that you should not stop paying support for minor children, or reduce the amount until there is an order of the court permitting it. You can expose yourself to large fines, which can be avoided if you follow the process required.

For Spanish, please visit us at: Modificaciones y Cumplimientos

Dana Pechersky is serving clients as a family law attorney in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, including Weston, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Davie, Tamarac, Fort Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Lauderhill, Coconut Creek, Dania, Deerfield Beach, Everglades Parkway, Hallandale, Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes, Pompano Beach, Miramar, Southwest Ranches, West Park, Miami Gardens, Hialeah, Coral Gables, Aventura, Miami Beach, North Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, Sunny Isles, Bay Harbor Islands, Biscayne Park, Doral, Key Biscayne, Miami Shores, Miami Lakes, Miami Springs, North Bay Village, Surfside, and Miami.
Dana Pechersky

by Dana Pechersky

2200 N. Commerce Parkway, Suite 200