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Modification & Enforcement Attorney in St. Petersburg, Florida

The family court system of Florida oversees thousands of cases a year, all of which impact the lives of families across the state. A family court order typically contains strict terms and conditions for all parties involved in a case, and it’s crucial for anyone subject to a family court order to understand the obligations set forth by these orders. However, the family courts understand that life can pose unexpected challenges, some of which can affect standing family court orders in many ways.

Legal Counsel for St. Petersburg, FL, Family Court Order Modification and Enforcement

Attorney Garth R. Goodman, PA, can provide the legal counsel and support you need when you must return to family court to address potential changes to your court order. The modification process is relatively straightforward, but it’s best to have experienced legal representation to assist you with this process. Additionally, if you must petition the family court to enforce a family court order that another party has violated, your attorney can assist with this process.

Attorney Goodman provides each client with compassionate and responsive legal counsel, answering their questions and helping them understand their proceedings more clearly. When something has happened in your life that has affected a child custody agreement, a child support order, a restraining order, or any other lawful family court order, it’s vital to consult an experienced St. Petersburg modifications attorney as soon as possible.

Why You Need Legal Counsel

The family courts of Florida take violations of family court orders very seriously. When any party beholden to a family court order fails or refuses to meet their obligations set forth by the order, they face contempt of court and criminal prosecution. Penalties for contempt can include fines, jail time, asset seizure, and loss of custody rights. Even unintentional violations can have severe consequences if they are not addressed appropriately.

If you have recently experienced an unexpected change in your life that impacts your ability to abide by a family court order, you may have grounds to petition for changes to the order. It’s possible to have your court order modified to suit your new circumstances, whether they interfere with your ability to exercise your custody rights, pay child support, or earn income. An experienced attorney can help you compile your petition for modification to ensure you do not face penalties for violating the order in question.

Similarly, if another party has failed to meet their obligations under your family court order, such as failing to pay alimony or child support, a St. Petersburg modifications lawyer can assist in petitioning for enforcement. Formally asking the court to enforce a standing order creates a record of the other party’s violation. Your attorney can ensure your family court order is upheld and that you receive any overdue support owed by the other party. Some family court order violations may lead to involuntary termination of parental rights or even incarceration of the party in violation.

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How to Request a Modification

The family court order modification process in Florida is fairly straightforward, and an experienced St. Petersburg modifications lawyer can streamline the process for their client. First, the party requesting the modification must complete specific forms and submit them to the court, explaining their desired changes and their reasoning as to why the changes are necessary and fair. Then, the court processes their forms and schedules a hearing date. During this hearing, all parties involved with the order in question have the right to speak on the issue.

The judge overseeing the modification hearing will evaluate evidence and testimony from all parties speaking on the issue. If a modification hearing involves two parties and the requested change is clearly reasonable and necessary, the responding party may not argue against the change at all. When a judge deems a modification petition to be fair and reasonable, they can sometimes approve the requested change with immediate effect. The court will revise the standing family court order, and the parties accountable to the order will be expected to adhere to the newly adjusted terms.

How Does Family Court Order Enforcement Work?

When it comes to enforcement, the judge is responsible for determining whether the violation in question was intentional, and they are also responsible for deciding an appropriate penalty. Enforcement measures in the Florida family court system are varied, and the outcome of an enforcement hearing hinges on many unique variables. Your St. Petersburg modifications attorney can help you approach an enforcement hearing with a clearer understanding of the legal mechanisms in play and assist you in securing the results you want to see.

Some of the most commonly cited reasons for individuals to request enforcement hearings in the St. Petersburg, FL, family court are:

  • Failure or refusal to pay child support on time and/or in full.

  • Failure or refusal to adhere to a visitation schedule.

  • Failure to provide a child’s basic needs under a custody agreement.

  • A parent has evidence that a custodial parent has developed a substance abuse disorder.

  • An individual subject to a restraining order has violated the order.

Judges determine penalties for family court order violations on a case-by-case basis. When a party has unintentionally violated a family court order or violated the order due to forces beyond their control, the judge may show leniency and even implement necessary changes to the order in question. The penalties can include fines and jail time for more severe and intentional violations. Serious violations of family court orders, such as parental kidnapping or violation of a restraining order, often lead to long incarceration terms, loss of custody rights, and other severe penalties.

Finalizing any family court case can feel like a new chapter of your life, but you may need to return to family court to address the terms of your court order. Modification and enforcement proceedings are much easier to approach with confidence when you have experienced legal representation assisting you. Attorney Garth R. Goodman, PA, can provide compassionate legal counsel and responsive support to navigate the modification and enforcement processes easily. Contact us today and schedule your consultation with an experienced St. Petersburg modifications lawyer.