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Post-Divorce Modifications and Enforcement

Knowledgeable Sarasota Lawyer Assists Clients with Post-Divorce Modifications and Enforcement

Collaborative process helps parties craft effective solutions

Life is not static. Even if you’ve had your marital settlement finalized and approved by the court, there’s no guarantee against future conflict. In fact, you can expect to revisit your divorce decree many times, especially if you are a parent of growing children. However, post-divorce conflicts don’t necessarily require litigation in family court. The collaborative family law process is often a more positive approach to modifying or enforcing your divorce decree. Tia E. Jensen, P.A. is committed to helping parties resolve their post-divorce conflicts as amicably as possible through the collaborative process. Drawing on more than 20 years of litigation experience and special training in the collaborative process, I provide parties with the legal guidance they need to settle their differences positively and respectfully in a timely manner.

Getting a post-divorce modification in Florida family court

Parties to a divorce settlement often feel they need a court-approved modification because the order is not working as intended or circumstances have changed. The court does not want parties filing motions lightly, so the law requires there be a substantial change of circumstances, such as a supporting spouse becoming “involuntarily unemployed.” Parties can request changes to their:

  • Alimony — If a supporting spouse has lost a job, or the supported spouse has entered a supported relationship with someone else, the court can revisit the question of alimony.
  • Child custody — If one parent is interfering with the other’s parenting time, the court could alter the parenting plan. If facts come to light indicating one parent is unfit, the court can restrict contact with the child. If a custodial parent wants to relocate at a distance of 50 miles or more, the court must decide whether to approve the relocation and revise the parenting plan.
  • Child support — A supporting parent who has suffered a significant loss of income that would necessitate a reduction in child support of at least $50 or 15 percent can request a downward modification of the obligation.

The collaborative process offers more flexibility than litigation, since parties to the agreement don’t have to meet the court’s stringent standards. And the process is not adversarial, so there is less stress involved.

However, if you are seeking a modification because of a financial reversal, I can provide unbundled services, such as preparing your motion for a modification and coaching you to represent yourself in court.

Enforcing the terms of your divorce decree in Florida

There is a misconception that an enforcement of your parenting plan, child custody payments, and alimony requires litigation in court. However, this is rarely the case. In my practice, I focus on why the agreement has broken down and address those issues. If a parent cannot make support payments because of unemployment, taking him or her to court is going to be a frustrating experience and will not solve the problem. If a parent is withholding child support because of perceived interference with parenting time, going to court is not going to solve relationship problems that are sabotaging the parenting plan. Working collaboratively to identify troublesome issues and resetting your divorce decree based on current realities is a more productive course to pursue.

Once you have a new agreement, you must submit it to the court. Until a judge approves your new agreement, however, the old order remains in effect, and it is essential you follow it.

Contact a collaborative attorney in Sarasota for modifications and enforcement

Tia E. Jensen, P.A. is committed to helping parties address post-divorce challenges with their divorce decrees through the collaborative process. Call today at 941-330-9600 or contact my Sarasota office online to schedule a free consultation. My office is conveniently located in the Ringling Professional Center, 2831 Ringling Blvd.