Modification & Enforcement Lawyer in Tampa, FL
Your life does not stop just because a court finalizes your divorce or other family law case.
Upon the conclusion of a family law case, the court issues a Final Judgment or an Order. When the other party to your case disregards the Final Judgment or Order, you may need to go back to court to have the judge enforce the Final Judgment or hold the other party in contempt of court.
You have a right to make the legal system work for you and to ensure the other party in your case follows the court order.
There may also come a time in which the Final Judgment or Order isn’t working anymore, often because the other party refuses to comply with the Order or simply because life changes. The Final Judgment may be modified when a substantial change in circumstances is shown.
This is an extremely high burden to overcome and you need an experienced attorney on your side to advocate your interests to the court.
Mindi Lasley, P.A. is experienced in handling enforcement and modification proceedings. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation.
Modification of Alimony
Alimony/spousal support may be modified in the event of changes that are:
- unanticipated change
If the receiver’s financial needs increase, it is possible that the alimony and/or child support awarded will be increased. If the payor’s income decreases, the alimony may also decrease.
However, not all forms of alimony can be modified, and there are many factors the court must considered in determining whether or not alimony can be modified. At Mindi Lasley, P.A., we are experienced in presenting these factors to the court and vigorously advocating our client’s position.
Modification of Child Support
In these difficult economic times, it can be difficult to keep up with child support payments. When child support payments are behind, the payor’s:
- driver’s license may be suspended
- wages may be garnished
- tax returns may be confiscated
If you are unable to keep up with child support payments because you’ve lost your job or your salary has decreased, you must petition the court to modify child support to prevent these penalties.
Child support can be modified by either party in the event that there is a substantial change in circumstances in which the current child support guidelines differ from the previously established guidelines at least 15% or $50, whichever amount is greater. However, this alone cannot be the sole basis for the modification.
The judge may also grant a child support deviation in certain cases, given the specific factors established in Florida law.
Our firm represents clients in both upward and downward child support modification cases and zealously argues to the court why a special deviation from the child support guidelines should be given based upon our client’s specific circumstances.
Modification of Custody
Child custody (now called time-sharing and parenting plans under Florida law) can be modified upon showing that there is a substantial change in circumstances AND that the proposed modification is in the best interests of the minor child.
Custody is one of the most difficult areas of law to modify because the court places great emphasis on the stability of minor children. However, there are many circumstances in which a modification of custody is necessary, and even urgent, especially when a child is in danger of physical or emotional abuse.
Modification of child custody may have a tremendous impact on the child if the child must change school districts or move away from friends and family, and this is not a decision the judge takes lightly.
There are several factors the court will consider in determining whether a modification of custody is in a child’s best interest, and persuasive evidence must be presented to the judge to prove whether modification is appropriate.
At Mindi Lasley, P.A., we have your child’s best interests at heart and will zealously argue on you and your child or children’s behalf. Contact the law office of Mindi Lasley, P.A. for experience representation in custody modification cases.
Relocation of Minor Children
Upon a Final Judgment being entered in a family law case, the parent the child(ren) primarily resides with may not relocate with the child(ren) more than 50 miles from the residence the parent and the child(ren) were living in at the time the Final Judgment was issued. The exception is when the other parent agrees or an order is obtained from a court.
Before moving more than 50 miles from the custodial parent’s address after the Final Judgment, the parent seeking to relocate must file a Petition to Relocate and a Supplemental Petition for Modification of the Parenting Plan and follow the specific procedures established in Florida law.
Failure to do this may result in a Motion for Contempt and/or a Motion for an Emergency Pickup Order of the minor child(ren).
Prevailing in a relocation case is extremely difficult, and Florida law requires the judge to consider and apply multiple factors.
Mindi Lasley, P.A. is experienced in advocating to the court why custody, time-sharing and/or relocation of a child should or should not be granted based upon the details of our clients’ cases and applicable Florida law.
Enforcement and Contempt
As with any order a court issues, a family law order (also known as a Final Judgment) is a legally binding document. As such, the court has a variety of tools at its disposal which it can use to enforce its orders.
Payments of alimony, child support and attorney’s fees are subject to a Motion for Contempt, which requires the judge to find that the party whom the motion is against has willfully failed to comply with a Court order despite the fact that he/she has the ability to comply with the order.
All other court orders that are not complied with are subject to a Motion and/or Petition for Enforcement. The Court has a variety of penalties at its disposal for both Contempt and Enforcement proceedings, including:
- the award of sanctions (both monetary and non-monetary)
- the award of attorney’s fees
- incarceration against the party that has failed to comply with the Order of the Court
Our firm has extensive experience in arguing both for and against motions for contempt and enforcement.Contact Mindi Lasley, P.A. to schedule a consultation.