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Modify Your Previous Family Law Judgments

Sometimes, divorce settlements include issues such as child support or visitation that may need to be changed on behalf of one or both parties due to specific circumstances.

Such circumstances might include:

  • Loss of job
  • Illness or injury
  • Relocation in state
  • Relocation out of state
  • Change in employment

If you are facing a new life situation and need to modify your divorce agreement, we at Jacobson, Chmelir & Ferwerda are here to help. With more than 60 years of combined experience in family and criminal law, we are capable of reviewing and renegotiating your divorce agreement in order to form a new settlement that satisfies your unique and changing needs.

Strong legal support for issues involving domestic violence and paternity

At Jacobson, Chmelir & Ferwerda, we are committed to taking every legal step possible to see that our clients and their children are safe and able to succeed. This includes seeking immediate orders of protection and other types of relief when a threat of domestic violence exists. Our attorneys also work with parents to establish paternity when it is in doubt so that children are able to grow up with the emotional and financial support they require.

Contact an experienced Florida family law attorney to protect your rights

The attorneys of Jacobson, Chmelir & Ferwerda represent Florida residents in divorce, custody and other family law disputes.

Top 10 Things to Know About Paternity

  1. Paternity Cases: These cases determine timesharing, establish a parenting plan and calculate child support for parents who are not married but have a child together.
  2. Paternity: The actual concept of paternity, as to whether someone is the father of a child, is not automatically involved in this type of case unless a test is requested.
  3. Residency: You must be a resident of Florida for 6 months prior to filing for divorce in Florida.
  4. Petition: A paternity case starts with the filing of a Petition with the court, but can also be negotiated behind the scenes before the court is involved.
  5. Timesharing: Florida no longer uses the word custody when determining the time a child spends with each parent; further, a parenting plan must be signed for any case involving timesharing with a minor child.
  6. Assets & Debts: There is no division of assets and debts between 2 people who have a child together but are unmarried.
  7. Alimony: There is no alimony awarded in cases that do not involve a marriage.
  8. Child Support: An amount of money calculated according to the Child Support Guidelines contained in the Florida Statutes, including adjustments for health insurance costs, daycare costs and timesharing.
  9. Attorney’s Fees: These fees may be requested in Paternity cases by the party who earns a lesser income.
  10. Mediation: Mediation is mandatory in many counties and is a voluntary process to assist parties in resolving paternity cases amicably.
  11. Final Judgment: All agreements must be accepted by the court and a final judgment entered to properly establish parental rights and enforce the terms of any agreement.

Modifications Of Settlement Agreements And Final Judgments

Frequently, after a settlement agreement or court order is entered in a family law case, circumstances change.  Such circumstances may include a loss or change of employment, decrease in income, illness, injury, relocation, a change in health insurance coverage or issues related to the well-being of children.   Because significant changes in one’s life can make it virtually impossible to comply with a previous agreement or court order, Florida law allows relief under specific circumstances. Generally, Florida courts  will permit parties, based on a substantial change in circumstances and other factors, to modify alimony, child support and time-sharing orders.  The specific circumstances that warrant a modification require a thorough review of the facts of your case and their applicability to Florida law.  An experienced and knowledgeable marital trial attorney is essential to navigate through these issues as Florida law does not permit a modification under all circumstances.  The burden of proving a modification rests with the party seeking to change the previous agreement or order and requires the presentation of evidence and proof supporting the modification petition.

Modifications of alimony

Modifications of alimony may be obtained by either the party required to pay or receive alimony.  A substantial change in the financial status or income of either party may warrant an increase or decrease in spousal support.  Additionally, the re-marriage of the party who receives alimony may justify a complete termination of alimony as opposed to the parties’ involvement in a “supportive relationship” which may justify a termination or merely a decrease in alimony.  Again, the specific facts of each case must thoroughly examined in order to determine if a modification of alimony is warranted.

Modifications of child support

Modifications of child support may obtained by either party if the income of either party substantially changes, the time-sharing arrangement is altered or the health insurance costs change from the date of the original child support order. Florida Statutes provide the Court’s with a child support guidelines which increase or decrease original child support orders based on any of the aforementioned factors.

Modifications of time-sharing

If a substantial change in circumstances that affects the best interests of the minor children arises, a parenting plan and time-sharing scheduled may be modified.  The primary focus that Florida courts rely upon when evaluating a modification of a parenting plan is the best interests of the minor children.  A time-sharing change may include a relocation by one parent to another state and requires scrupulous compliance with the detailed requirement set forth in Florida Statutes.

If you are facing a new life situation and need to modify your divorce or paternity judgment, our law firm of seasoned family law trial attorneys can help you.  Please contact our firm to schedule a consultation so we may discuss and strategize the most effective way to guide you and fight for your rights during this process.

Domestic Violence Injunctions

There are few things as disturbing to your physical or mental wellbeing as facing domestic violence. At Jacobson, Chmelir & Ferwerda, we understand how challenging this situation is for you. You shouldn’t have to face the increasingly complicated legal procedures that come with a domestic violence court case on your own.

Fortunately, our legal team has extensive experience dealing with the unique issues that accompany domestic violence in the state of Florida. Penalties in domestic violence cases are far more severe than those in non-domestic cases, often resulting in increased attention and mandatory prison sentences. Furthermore, victims of domestic violence can file a domestic violence injunction – a special injunction that forbids individuals to take certain actions against another individual.

These actions include:

  • Verbal threats
  • Physical beating
  • Harassment

If you are a victim of domestic violence, it is time for you to take action. With our experienced family law attorneys on your side, you can successfully fight domestic violence in court. Throughout our extensive history representing victims of domestic violence, we have striven to represent them diligently to the best of our ability. Let us protect you today!