The divorce process can understandably be challenging, especially if you and your spouse struggle to find common ground when tackling matters such as property division. Once the divorce has been finalized, you may breathe a sigh of relief, as you can finally move on with your own life.
However, just because you and your former spouse are now officially divorced in Florida does not mean the issues that cropped up during your divorce proceeding will not crop up again. You may need to modify your existing divorce judgment if you or your ex experience major changes in your life circumstances following your marital split-up.
You can petition the divorce trial court to alter aspects of your divorce judgment involving spousal support, child support, visitation schedules and child custody arrangements, for example. You do this by filing a divorce decree modification motion, typically with the same court in which your initial divorce filing occurred. This is also the court where you received your issued divorce judgment.
An example of a scenario where modifying your divorce judgment may be necessary has to do with who has custody of your child. Perhaps your ex has primary physical custody but is in jail for possessing illegal drugs. In this situation, you may seek a change in the custody award.
Another example is if your divorce judgment made it mandatory for you to pay $1,500 in spousal and child support but you recently experienced a job layoff. You may seek to temporarily alter your support schedules.
Pursuing a divorce petition modification is different from appealing a divorce trial court’s decision. Sometimes two spouses who are getting divorced, or just one of the spouses, may choose to appeal the decision that the court made by taking their argument to an appellate court. The goal of appealing a decision is to demonstrate that the judge made an error in applying the law to reach his or her decision.
When it comes to appeals, it is typically not possible to appeal a settlement agreement if both spouses have agreed to its terms. However, even if a divorce has become final through a settlement agreement, you or your spouse have the right to change the particular obligations and rights laid out in your marital split-up judgment.