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"My case was handled quickly and with ease."
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Gainesville Modifications Attorney

When a determination is made regarding a specific issue in a family law proceeding, whether through agreement, judgment, or other order of the court, it is generally based upon the circumstances of the parties involved at the time that the decision is made. However, we all know that as life happens, circumstances change and unexpected events can occur. Sometimes it is necessary to seek legal modification of a prior decision involving a family law matter such as child support, child custody, visitation, time-sharing, or alimony. The Gainesville attorneys, of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A., represent clients in modification proceedings in Alachua and Marion counties.

Modifications are generally based upon a change in the circumstances or financial ability of a party to, or beneficiary of, a prior agreement or order. While it is possible, at times, to include provisions for future anticipated or potential changes in circumstances, both the parties and the court can only include provisions on matters within contemplation at the time of forming a decision. As such, when a prior agreement or order is no longer suitable, in terms of its legal effect and initially intended purpose, a modification can serve to remedy gaps that were not previously considered either by the court or the parties involved.

In many cases, the change in circumstances, or financial ability to pay, involves a change in one person’s income or ability to work. It is important to know that an obligor may not avoid their obligations through seeking a modification when it can be shown that the obligor is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, or otherwise has no income but is able to obtain employment or participate in job training. However, this same notion can also apply, in reverse, to the obligee. In general any reduction in income which forms the basis of a modification request, must not involve the voluntary actions of a party.

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In other cases, the change supporting a modification may involve the child, such as when a child becomes disabled, or other circumstances arise that were not previously contemplated by the parties or the court. In these cases, additional provisions, or modification of prior provisions may be necessary to address issues of medical bills and other expenses, insurance, visitation, time-sharing, or any matters related to the child’s changed circumstances. In some cases, a modification is necessary where the child reaches the age of majority before the execution of the agreement, or rendition of court order.

A modification can also resolve issues of relocation. When one party relocates, while a prior agreement or order for custody, visitation, or time sharing remains in effect, the prior agreement or order for custody, visitation, or time sharing may no longer be suitable. This holds true for situations involving out-of-state relocation, as well as intra-state relocation of a substantial distance. In some cases, a party may need to transfer a matter to a court outside the state, or another county within Florida, while in other cases a party wishes to defend the transfer of the matter to another court. [See, ‘Transfer of Venue‘]. In some cases, a parent’s relocation can affect support provisions as well.

Just a few of the types of modification cases are:

Some modifications involve previous decisions or agreements resulting from a divorce proceeding. Other modifications pertain to prior decisions involving the children between two parties that were never married. A request for modification may be sought by either party, and may seek either an increase or decrease in payments due by an obligor or owed to an oblige or a change in a custody arrangement. Whether you are seeking a modification, or you are the party opponent to a request for modification, it is important that you fully understand your legal rights and options.