Fort Lauderdale Modification Attorneys
Client-Oriented Legal Counsel
At Stok Kon + Braverman, we know that nothing seems certain in today’s economy. While you might have a stable job with a steady income today, millions of Americans are facing unemployment and other financial hardships every day. If you are dealing with financial adversity and your spousal or child support payments have become more than you can afford on your income, then you can petition for a modification of your divorce or custody orders.
Modifications to existing child support and alimony orders are available when there has been a significant change of circumstances in the lives of either party. Due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, alimony and child support modifications have become increasingly common. However, it’s important to note that you can’t stop making support payments unless you obtain permission from the court. Reducing or stopping payment without court approval can result in jail time.
Common Reasons for Modifying Child Support
Courts can modify child support obligations if there is a substantial change in circumstances. Courts examine several factors to determine if a substantial change of circumstances occurred. A small reduction in pay generally isn’t enough to reach this threshold. If a change in income occurred, then the new child support amount must differ by $50 or 15% to gain court approval.
Examples of a substantial change in circumstances include:
- Increase in income for the parent receiving support
- Decrease in income for the parent paying support
- More overnights with the child
- The child develops severe health problems
- The child develops severe learning disabilities
- Three years have passed since the most recent order
Common Reasons for Modifying Spousal Support
The court can also modify a spousal support order if a substantial change of circumstances is proven. An alimony order can only be modified if it was issued at the time of divorce. If there was no alimony ordered, then there is nothing to modify.
Common reasons for spousal support modification include:
- Substantial change in income
- Substantial inheritance
- Lottery winnings
- Remarriage of the payee
- Fraud perpetrated by the payee or payor
Unless stated otherwise, most divorce agreements are subject to modification and adjustment. Some circumstances that necessitate a modification of divorce or custody orders, include:
- Significant increases or decreases to income
- The children start spending more overnights with the noncustodial parent
- The custodial parent wants to relocate out of the area
- Allegations of child abuse or neglect
- Significant changes in the child’s behavior
- Criminal behavior by the parent
Our legal team at Stok Kon + Braverman has more than 30 years of experience helping clients modify their existing child support, alimony, and time-sharing agreements. If you have more questions about modifying your agreement, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our firm so we can provide you with the legal insight you need to protect your best interests.