You’ve Received a Supplemental Petition for Modification, Now What?
With COVID19 we saw the lives of many in Tampa Bay change so it’s not surprising that parents and divorced couples are seeking to modify their final family law orders. Although we’ve come far on that front, parents and divorced couples frequently experience changes of all kinds. In Florida, modifying final orders must meet specific criteria and generally require a permanent, substantial and unexpected change in circumstance. The most common types of post judgement modifications are ;
- Alimony Modifications
- Child Support Modifications
- Child Custody/Parenting Plan Modifications
- Other divorce modifications that are financial in nature
Initial Filing and Response to Supplemental Petition for Modifications
When a person is seeking relief from the courts by way of a Supplemental Petition for Modification, either they will file their petition with the courts or their family law attorney will do so on their behalf. It is up to them to prove to the courts that a modification is substantiated. If you choose not to hire a Family Law Attorney in Tampa to represent you, you will be required to follow the same rules that are required in cases filed by persons represented by attorneys. The party who has received the Supplemental Petition for Modification must submit their answers within 20 days or risk a default judgement against them. Further, all parties or their attorneys must follow any other rules as set forth in the Fla Statutes, Rules of Procedures and Jurisdictional rules.
Answering a Supplemental Petition for Modification
As you know, your answers to a Supplemental Petition for Modification will be one of the most important first steps you make. Depending on the specifics of your case and considering any unique circumstances that may exist, your initial answers will work to your benefit or your detriment. It’s important to get it right.
For instance, if you are answering a Supplemental Petition to MODIFY PARENTING PLAN/TIME-SHARING, there may be information and details regarding safety issues, supervised visitation, child support and special circumstances. Long distance parenting plans may require a different approach. It is also very likely that a Modification of Child Support or other financial relief may be included in the petition and must be addressed with care. In addition to the General Rules of Procedure, you must abide by Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.285 within 45 days of service.
Mediation and Modifications
Parties in any modification case will be sent to mediation prior to having a hearing. If you are contesting the modification and you cannot reach an agreement in mediation, you will go on to a hearing. When properly represented, mediation can be an extremely useful tool in modification cases. Nilo J Sanchez & Associates has an excellent reputation amongst clients as well as industry peers in negotiating and mediating high conflict family law matters.
Evidence must conform to the Rules
It is highly recommended to hire a Tampa Family Law Attorney to represent you in any modification case. Telling your side of the story to a Judge is simply not enough in Tampa Bay’s Family Court. The responsibility of establishing facts to the court will up to you should you represent yourself. Any evidence must be admissible evidence that supports your initial answers but THEY MUST BE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE FLORIDA STATUTES TO BE ADMISSIBLE IN COURT.
Is Your Alimony Modifiable?
Not all alimony orders are modifiable. There are several types of alimony in Florida can be modified. If you wish to modify your alimony in Tampa Florida, it will be subjected to the laws and criteria in the FL Statutes, and the terms in your marital settlement agreement or final judgement.
Case Evaluation Modification of Alimony
If you have received a Supplemental Petition for Modification of Alimony or if you would like to file a Supplemental Petition for Modification of Alimony but you aren’t sure if your situation warrants it, reach out to us for a case evaluation and consultation.
Tampa Family Law Attorney Consultation
Please call 813-879-4600 or use the form below to message us. Nilo J Sanchez is a top-rated Tampa family law attorney, specializing in high conflict divorce, alimony and child custody matters. Mr. Sanchez has over 25 years of experience representing clients who prefer the benefits that an experienced family law attorney can provide.