Modification & Enforcement

Modification
If your financial and personal circumstances have changed since the entry of the last court order for child support and/or alimony, you may be entitled to have you support obligation modified. The modification can result in an increase or decrease in the support obligation depending on your circumstances, if you can prove that there has been a substantial, material, unforeseen and permanent change in circumstances since the entry of the Court Order. Certain life events which can require modification of child and/or spousal (alimony) support include unemployment or reduced salary, a raise or promotion, emancipation of a child, or a change in the needs of either a child or a spouse.

A Parenting Plan may also be subject to modification if there is evidence that the child is endangered in the other parent’s home, such as abuse, neglect, domestic violence or drug use. In that case the Court will order an investigation to determine the fitness of the parent, which may include a home evaluation and/or psychological evaluation. Parents may also decide, on their own, to alter the Parenting Plan (i.e., change the schedule or other mutual agreement as to living arrangements). The Court must approve the new plan entered into by the parties.

Enforcement
Any part of a Judgment is subject to enforcement. There are many ways the State of Florida can encourage compliance with its orders. Wage garnishment, contempt of court and serious fines are remedies used by the courts to encourage compliance. If you have been found in contempt of a court order for failure to pay child support and/or alimony, the Court can impose jail time and fines. The court may also garnish your wages to prevent future arrears of your support payments.

Failing to turn over children at the assigned time or otherwise interfere with custody rights can also result in contempt charges and repeated violations may lead to re-opening and potential modification of the parenting plan.

The consequences of failing to obey a court order can be significant. If you are struggling to pay for support, it is best to seek a support modification rather than not pay the support. We represent clients who are bringing contempt actions, as well as those who are defending contempt orders.

On either side of a modification or enforcement action, you should have experienced legal representation to protect your rights. Maritza Gonzalez, P.A. will explain the law and likely outcome and work toward an efficient, out of court solution. However, if this cannot be accomplished, we will aggressively litigate on your behalf to protect your interests in Court. If you have any questions about enforcement, contempt, or modification in Florida, please contact us today for a free consultation.