Modifying Child Support & Alimony in Tampa
How to Update Alimony & Child Support Through Mediation
Finances change, but people are harder to budge. A parent who is counting on monthly support may not agree to a lower amount, or one who already feels strapped by child support obligations may balk at paying one dollar more. Fortunately, there are out of court alternative dispute resolution methods that can help you and your former partner find a middle ground, especially when the alternative is going to court and racking up large amounts of legal fees and costs.
The law firm of Beth Reineke is here to help. Founder and Tampa attorney Beth Reineke is a Florida Supreme Court Certified mediator. She can mediate post-decree disputes and help clients draw up modification documents for submission to the court. Her legal practice is devoted exclusively to mediation and other alternatives to litigation.
To learn more about how we can help you seek a resolution through amicable and affordable means in the Tampa Bay Area, call Attorney Reineke at (813) 336-5012 or contact her online to book your free case evaluation.
“She mixed her life experience, and legal training, with patience, logic, and persuasion, to move our case forward to a more thoughtful, and peaceful resolution, for everyone involved.”
Financial issues are always tense, especially after a split. Beth Reineke can help co-parents or ex-spouses work through the difficult matter of modifying child support or modifying alimony.
The paying party may seek a decrease in support because of job loss or other hardship. The recipient may seek a higher level of support because of a decrease in their own income, an increase in the payor’s income, or because of additional needs of the child.
If the parties agree, Ms. Reineke can calculate the new child support guidelines and prepare the modification agreement and any other documents necessary for the court’s stamp of approval. The modification order replaces some or all of the original court order or specifies a temporary change for a defined period of time.
If one party does not consent to the support modification, Ms. Reineke can mediate the dispute to avoid the delay, expense, and uncertainty of getting a hearing date and arguing before a judge. If mediation succeeds, she can draw up the papers.
The initial determination of child support is based on statutory guidelines and alimony is awarded after consideration of numerous statutory factors. Mediation can help assure that the modification is mutually agreed upon, justified by the new circumstances, and serves the best interests of the child and/or the parties involved.
Modifying Alimony in Florida State
Florida law allows for almost every kind of alimony to be modified or terminated when there has been an unexpected, involuntary, and/or substantial change in circumstances that affects a former spouse’s ability to pay alimony or the other former spouse’s need for alimony.
Before you can file for a modification of alimony in Florida you must qualify by having a “Substantial Change in Circumstances.” Such a change must be significant and typically unanticipated at the time the alimony was originally ordered by the court.
In order to qualify, the change must be:
- Permanent (Not just a temporary setback),
- Involuntary (For example, a layoff or significant illness, limiting a party’s ability to work), and
- Material (For example, a substantial salary increase, indicating an additional ability to pay alimony, or a substantial salary decrease, indicating an additional need for more alimony or an inability to pay an existing alimony obligation).
However, it should be noted that if the original case was resolved and closed without awarding any alimony, neither you nor your former partner can later modify the judgment in an attempt to receive alimony. If alimony was not awarded at the time of the divorce, the court will have nothing to modify.
Supreme Court Certified Mediator
Not all mediators are licensed attorneys- Attorney Beth Reineke brings legal experience and practical insights to the mediation process.
Over 3 Decades of Legal Experience
Attorney-Mediator Beth Reineke has over 3 decades of legal experience in helping families find divorce resolutions.
We believe any aspect of divorce and custody can be resolved without a courtroom fight. Beth Reineke has mediated complex property division, entrenched custody disputes, and high-stakes alimony and child support issues. She provides creative suggestions, gentle guidance and reality check wisdom from her years of experience in courtroom wars.
We offer free phone consultations and reasonable rates for mediation, drafting of agreements, preparation of court documents and other mediation services. During your initial consultation, Attorney Reineke will discuss the benefits of mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and whether these methods are the right fit for your situation.
To determine whether mediation or another litigation alternative is right for you and your ex, reach out to Beth Reineke today. Our law firm welcomes clients throughout the Tampa Bay Area, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties.