Modification and Enforcement

The attorneys at The Office of Linda A. Bailey work for clients on both sides of modification and enforcement petitions to protect your rights under Florida law.

At the time of your divorce, it is impossible to know what your circumstances will be in another five or ten years. People lose and change jobs. Parents can become better or worse guardians. In the future, you might need to file for a modification of the terms of your divorce. Circumstances that may require the help of an experienced divorce attorney to modify your agreement include:

    • Increased ability for parenting by a mother or father who had limited or no custody rights at the time of the initial divorce.
    • Demonstration by either parent that he or she is not a suitable guardian.
    • Major relocation of either parent that will affect the current parenting schedule.
    • Increased wages earned by a spouse who is paying child support payments.
    • Decreased wages or extensive illness of the spouse paying support payments.
    • Increased wages earned by a spouse receiving alimony.
    • Any other significant and permanent changes that materially affect parenting, alimony or child support.
The attorneys at The Office of Linda A. Bailey work passionately toward solutions that help clients reach resolutions in the most professional manner possible.

Modification of court orders. The most common court ordered modifications involve parenting time, child support and alimony. In order to qualify for a modification of these provisions, the petitioning party must allege and prove that there has been “a material and substantial change in the circumstances” – to you or to the other party – since the original order was entered by the court. The law determining what facts are sufficient to meet this burden of proof is complex and varies according to what type of modification you are seeking.

Property provisions cannot be modified under almost any circumstances.

Enforcement of court orders. If a party has the ability to comply but is willfully violating a court order, effective remedies exist to coerce compliance and punish non-compliance. Remedies include fines, payment of legal fees, and even incarceration until compliance is met.

Criminal contempt is punishment for a violation. An example of criminal contempt would be a seeking a fine or jail time for repeated violations of a court order or for interfering with the judicial process and authority of the court. All of the protections of criminal court would apply to this type of action and, therefore, it is usually seen only in the most egregious cases.

Civil contempt is coercion to force compliance. Civil contempt is more common and means that the court will order a coercive measure, such as jail time or daily fines, until the person complies with the order being violated. The act being coerced might include payment of court-ordered support or signing a document required by the court order.

Our attorneys have extensive experience in all types of enforcement actions, whether they are based on the failure of a party to comply with payment of support, interference with parenting time or parental responsibility, lack of completion of a specific act, or violations of financial and property orders.

Dedicated to strength in legal representation, and to giving you peace of mind.