Post-Judgment Modifications in Miami
Do You Need to Modify a Family Court Final Judgment?
Life can change after a divorce is finalized. These changes can be substantial and make it difficult to maintain existing court orders regarding child support, custody, visitation, and spousal support. If you need to make modifications to your divorce decree, Attorney Beatriz Zyne can help you justify such a modification. Our South Miami modifications lawyer has many years of experience in handling these matters through the local courts for clients across all areas of Greater Miami. We can work diligently on your behalf to obtain a favorable outcome.
Modification Cases in Florida Family Law
After a final judgment, unexpected issues can arise that can make the current judgment outdated. However, to modify a current family court order, the changes must be deemed substantial by the court.
Examples of issues that would warrant a modification include:
- A parent’s loss or change in status related to employment, resulting in financial damage
- Job obligations or other situations leading to a parent’s inability to maintain the current parenting schedule
- Loss of other parental financial income or benefits
- Parental disability
- Illness on the part of a parent or a child, leading to increased medical expenses, inability to maintain the current parenting schedule, and more
- Parental relocation for employment or remarriage purposes
- Substance abuse on the part of a parent
- Changing needs of a child due to aging
- A parent has neglected or abused the child
- A parent is absent from the home
File a Motion to Change Custody
Even if both parents agree to modify the current custody arrangement, it is not official until the judge makes a new order. This is the recommended legal course of action, as it helps protect both parents from issues down the line.
Once the motion is filed, it will be reviewed by a judge, who will then decide if custody will be reconsidered. Modifying a child custody agreement cannot be done frivolously. You cannot ask to change the agreement simply because you want a more engaging social life. The change is a serious legal process and should be considered as such. A judge will only agree to modify custody if there is an actual change in circumstance or proper cause.
For instance, in Florida, if a divorced parent wishes to relocate more than 50 miles away from their current location, they must petition the court. Divorced parents who come to an agreement about the move may create a written agreement that still must be approved by the court. Where the parents disagree, a relocation hearing with the court will need to be scheduled for both sides to present their case.
Any changes you wish to make to a current final judgment must be approved by the court. Without court approval, it cannot be legally enforced.
A Judge Decides if There Is an ECE
An established custodial environment (ECE) is the environment in which a child (or children) have successfully found guidance, comfort, discipline, and basic needs. It can exist with the primary caregiver or both parents equally. If it very clearly exists, the party that put the modification into motion must prove that changing custody would be in the child’s best interest. The child’s best interests come first in any custody situation, and the judge will always rule in favor of what is deemed best for the child.
The judge will look at each factor and mark their findings on the official record of the court. If there is already a great ECE in place and the child is doing well, it could be harder to prove that custody needs to be changed. If it seems that a modification to the custody agreement would benefit the child more than the current situation, the judge will modify the agreement accordingly.
Contact Beatriz Zyne, P.A.
Convincing a judge to change an established custody agreement can be very challenging. You’ll need an attorney with experience in custody modifications to help. Attorney Beatriz Zyne, P.A. has over 20 years of legal experience and knows the correct steps to take for a judge to consider modifications in child custody.