Orlando Modification of Custody Attorney
Orlando Attorney Assisting with Post-Decree Modifications
When “final” is not final …
At Mercedes R. Wechsler, P.A., we see many instances when Florida courts will change or modify decrees following the entry of a divorce judgment. Although the terms of a divorce have been embodied in a “final” decree by the court, some things are still open to modification.
The parties themselves may agree to a change or modification of custody or visitation (time sharing) arrangements. Or, upon the petition of one of the parties, without agreement from the other, Florida courts will often recognize when there has been a “substantial change in circumstances” of a spouse’s income or health that requires a post-decree modification of custody or support.
Examples of grounds for a modification of custody are: a significant geographical relocation by the custodial parent or a detrimental change in lifestyle by the custodial parent. The parent seeking a change or modification of custody must show that he or she can provide a better home environment for the child than the child’s current environment and must comply with the requirements of the relocation statute.
Post-decree modifications can be made to child support as well as child custody and visitation (time sharing or parenting time) arrangements.
Change can take place in both directions …
Generally, for an increase in child support, the parent seeking the increase must show that the child has developed needs that are far beyond what was originally anticipated by the courts’ decree; or, the payor’s income has increased so substantially that the child is entitled to receive more support.
Conversely, for a decrease in child support, the parent seeking the modification must demonstrate that a dramatic negative change in finances has occurred through no fault of the parent, or that the child now spends substantially more time with the non-custodial parent than was set in the decree’s provision for parenting time.
When divorcing parents turn on one another, children suffer.
When the custodial parent interferes with the relationship between the child and the other parent (by preventing phone calls, denying or cutting short visitation, or disparaging the other parent in the presence of the child) children can suffer parental alienation syndrome – and courts may find the parental misbehavior grounds for modification of custody. We recognize that divorce can be a difficult time for everyone involved. To ensure that your children are not placed in the middle more than they already are, please read our Twelve Commandments for Divorced Parents.
Successful motions for modifications of custody are extremely fact-dependant. To see whether modification of custody is an option for your specific case, contact our office in Orlando at 407-839-1364.