The end of the divorce process can be a welcome relief to people that have made the difficult choice to go through it. Once a divorce is finalized, there can be many opportunities that arise for people to begin a new chapter in life. However, even when a divorce has been finalized, there are still a number of reasons that you may need the assistance of your family law attorney. While every divorce is unique to the individuals involved, there are some common reasons why you may find it helpful to maintain your relationship with your Florida divorce attorney.
Modification of Support Payments
In Florida, former spouses may be responsible for various types of support payments as a result of the finalization of the divorce process. These generally include alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, and child support. Alimony can come in a variety of forms, from temporary support to permanent support. Child support is generally enforced until the children involved have turned 18, though in some cases it may be extended to a time when the children reach 19 years of age. Your Florida family law attorney that has experience handling divorce and related support issues can explain these guidelines in more detail. While support orders of any type must be strictly adhered to, there are circumstances when a person can request those support orders be modified.
For example, a former spouse responsible for alimony payments can petition the court to discontinue alimony payments if the spouse that is the recipient of such payments remarries or enters what is known as a “supportive relationship.” In such cases, the spouse responsible for the alimony payments will be expected to prove that a former spouse is involved in a supportive relationship. Maintaining your relationship with your family law attorney that handled your divorce can make a request for modification of alimony payments much easier for you because that attorney is already familiar with many details of your specific situation.
Child support modification can be requested when a significant change in circumstances occurs. For instance, if the person responsible for making child support payments involuntarily becomes unemployed or receives a significant decrease in salary, they may be able to petition the court for a modified payment schedule based on their income at that time. Additionally, if the spouse responsible for payments receives a significant increase in salary through, say, a promotion, then the recipient may request an increase in child support payments. No outcome for a modification request is guaranteed, and Florida courts will make these determinations based on the financial situation of each parent and what is in the best interests of the children involved.
Modification of Time Sharing Agreement
When children are involved, most Florida courts will require a detailed parenting plan that spells out a specific time sharing agreement between both parents. These plans can and should be very detailed, including specific times and dates that children will share time between both parents. However, it is very common that a parent’s individual circumstances may change once an agreement is in place. A parent’s job may take them elsewhere in the state or the country, and occasionally one parent’s specific detrimental behavior may also prompt a request to change time sharing arrangements. Even when former spouses are able to maintain civil, productive relationships with one another and communicate effectively, it is always advisable that any modification to a Florida time sharing agreement be approved by a Florida court. This helps ensure that Florida courts can enforce any new arrangements made between parents, and most importantly helps make sure that a child’s best interests are legally protected. Again, the family law attorney that handled your divorce and is familiar with your particular circumstances can help save you time and money during this process.
There are many aspects that Florida courts consider when determining a final divorce decree, not the least of which is property division. In addition to dividing assets appropriately, Florida courts may also divide marital debts between spouses. Sometimes, one spouse may not adhere to the divorce decree when it comes to managing these debts and may default on required payments. When that happens, that former spouse may also find themselves in default on the divorce decree. In a perfect world, communicating with your former spouse about his or her responsibilities would be all that would be needed to ensure compliance. However, often times it becomes necessary to return to court to ask a judge to enforce responsibility for joint marital debts that could affect your personal credit if they are not taken care of in a timely manner.
Additionally, some people may find a former spouse unwilling to pay court-mandated alimony or child support payments. In such cases, the spouse responsible for those payments may be in default of the divorce judgment. You can work with your family law attorney that handled your divorce to return to court and have a judge enforce the divorce judgment by requiring payments be made or finding alternative methods to enforce payment responsibility. Here, again, you can save time and money by utilizing the service of your Florida divorce attorney because they will already be familiar with the terms of your divorce settlement.
Legal Assistance with Florida Divorce
While a divorce decree may make it less necessary for you and your former spouse to be emotionally and financially involved, there are still aspects of your life that may continue to be intertwined even after a divorce is final. This is especially true when children are involved or when the divorce decree provides directives related to assets and debts that require time to comply with. In such circumstances, it is a good idea to maintain a relationship with your Florida family law attorney that specializes in divorce and related matters. Using the same lawyer you used for your divorce to address new issues and concerns that may arise post-divorce can save you time, money, and energy because that attorney is already familiar with the details of your case. If you have made the difficult choice to pursue divorce or would like more information about post-divorce issues that may require you to return to court, contact Scott J. Stadler to schedule a consultation and find out more about how the Florida divorce process might impact you.