Your Compliance with the Divorce Agreement: The Fourth Step in the Florida Divorce Process
Filing for divorce and negotiating the terms of the divorce agreement can be difficult, but for some individuals, compliance with the terms of the agreement after it is signed is even more frustrating. What should you do if you are having a problem complying with the divorce agreement? Here are steps to take to resolve some common problems you may experience in attempting to comply with the divorce agreement.
I Am Unable to Pay Child Support as Ordered
Penalties for the nonpayment of child support can be quite steep, including the revocation of passports and identifying documents, reports to credit bureaus, and freezing of the financial accounts of the delinquent parent. This means that if you find yourself unable to pay child support as ordered, the best solution is to take immediate action to resolve the problem, and not to delay or forego payment. Child support orders can be modified when payers or recipients find that their financial situations have changed, generally in accordance with the amount of the change (e.g., decreasing child support payments according to a percentage drop in income). You may petition the court to modify the order, which may be significantly easier to do through help from an attorney.
I Am Unable to Pay Alimony as Ordered
Like child support, alimony payments can be modified under some circumstances. Unlike child support, however, the circumstances under which a paying spouse may modify alimony are not as directly prescribed by law and instead often depend on the terms of the divorce agreement. Additionally, various forms of alimony have differing considerations for which a court must account in the event of a modification request. For instance, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent alimony may be modified on the basis of changed financial circumstances, but only the amount to be paid may change, not the duration of the award. In contrast, bridge-the-gap alimony awards are not modifiable at all. If you find yourself needing to modify an alimony award, the easiest method may well be to utilize an experienced family law attorney.
I Am Unable to Comply with the Custody Agreement
Custody agreements in the state of Florida are governed by parenting plans. Like child support awards and some types of alimony awards under certain circumstances, parenting plans can be modified in some cases. If your only need is to modify the terms of the parenting plan for a single day, it may not be necessary to petition the court to change the agreement. But again, if you find yourself needing to make a modification to an existing parenting plan, and especially if you believe that compromise and communication with your spouse will be ineffectual or you need to make a long-term change to the plan, you may be best served by having a lawyer advocate on your behalf.
If you are having trouble meeting the terms of your divorce agreement, take action quickly to avoid penalties under law. Qualified family law attorneys at Schwartz | White can assist you. Call 561-391-9943 today to schedule a consultation in Boca Raton.