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After Your Florida Divorce is Over

There are numerous situations where unfortunately you may need to go back to Court after the "Final Judgment". If a spouse does not make their alimony or child support payments on time, or otherwise fails to abide by the Final Judgment , you may need to see the Judge again. If your spouse was ordered to make payments through "Support Enforcement", you will not need to hire an attorney every time a payment is late or missing. Support Enforcement will send someone into Court to testify that the payment was not made. Unfortunately, this agency is usually overwhelmed with cases and it is often better to get your own lawyer if you want to get back into Court quickly.

If a Judge believes that a non-paying party has the ability to pay support, that party can be held in contempt and jailed until the payment is made. (The Court must set a purge amount, ie an amount when if paid will result in the release from jail. The purge amount must be an amount that the party has the present ability to pay) If there is a valid reason for non-payment that will be considered.

Another reason for a trip back to the Courthouse after the Final Judgment is for a modification of child support or alimony. Generally speaking there must be a substantial, unforeseeable and permanent change in circumstance before a Judge will make a modification. (Although support can be reduced temporarily if someone loses their job temporarily). If four years after the divorce for example the spouse paying child support is making 60% more money than at the time of the Final Judgment, the other party may be able to obtain a modification, especially if that party's income has remained the same. Also, it is suggested that if you are the paying party, that you seek modification if your income has been substantially reduced.