Once a dissolution of marriage is finalized, either through a marital settlement agreement ultimately accepted by the court or after a final judgment following trial, the parties are obligated to comply with their agreement and judgment of the court. The agreement or judgment may require one party or the other to pay monies for alimony, child support, or otherwise.
When Can a Parenting Plan Be Modified?
Parents can modify their parenting plans from time to time as they find it necessary. For minor changes, like moving a pick up time or location for a weekend, the parents can agree upon and follow those changes as needed. For more substantial changes, or changes that are going to be in place permanently, the parents can modify their parenting plan but will need to reduce that agreement to writing.
When the parents cannot agree to a change of their parenting plan, a modification through the filing of a Supplemental Petition for Modification may be necessary. Much like a dissolution of marriage or paternity action, a Supplemental Petition for Modification is filed by one parent and served on the other parent. That parent then has 20 days to file their answer, and if they choose to, their Supplemental Counter Petition for Modification.
Making the Case for Modification
To justify a modification of a parenting plan, the party seeking the modification must show that there has been a change of circumstances which is substantial, material, involuntary, unanticipated and permanent in nature. They must also show that the change rendered the prior parenting plan no longer in the best interest of the minor children and that the modification they’re seeking is in the best interest of the minor children.
There are many reasons that a parent may want to seek a modification of their parenting plan. It is vital to the well-being of the children involved to discuss the proposed modification with an attorney who can advise you on your concerns about modifying your parenting plan.
These support obligations may be subject to modification. When there has been substantial, material, involuntary change in the circumstances or financial abilities of the parties which is unanticipated and permanent in nature, either party may seek an order of the court modifying his or her financial obligations. Such an action is commonly referred to as a modification case.
Many times people suffer a change in circumstances or financial abilities which necessitate a modification. To avoid arrearages in support or facing the possibility of contempt, a party who has suffered a change in circumstances and can no longer afford to meet their financial obligations should pursue a modification case.
Our family law lawyers can assist you in determining whether it is appropriate for you to pursue a modification case and to assist you in obtaining the appropriate relief from the court. For an initial consultation at our Sarasota office, please contact Syprett, Meshad, Resnick & Lieb online or call 941-365-7171 today.