Either party has the right to amend ("modify") the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage if there has been a substantial, permanent, unanticipated, and involuntary change in circumstances. Issues which are often sought to be modified as custody, visitation, alimony, child support, but not usually issues of equitable distribution The party must file a new lawsuit known as a "Supplemental Petition to Modify the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage." If the change is not permanent (generally defined as less than one year), a party could still file a Motion for Temporary Change of Alimony or Child Support. For example, if a former husband was ordered to pay alimony in a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage and he lost his job two months later through no fault of his own, he could and should file a Motion for Temporary Elimination or Reduction Alimony as soon as possible. Assuming that the former husband made a good faith effort to find new employment without success, a judge would probably grant the motion on a temporary basis. A judge would probably make his or her ruling retroactive, but only to the date the motion was filed not to the date of the former husband lost his job.
In a divorce case, each side must file a "Financial Affidavit" with the Clerk of Court and exchange a copy of it with each other. This document is one of the most important financial documents in a divorce case. If either party filed a fraudulent Financial Affidavit, which was detrimentally relied upon by the other party, the harmed party could reopen the case at any time after the entry of the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. Under new Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure, Rule 12.540, there is no longer a statute of limitations within which a harmed party must file an action to reopen the divorce case based upon a fraudulent Financial Affidavit. However, if a Financial Affidavit was incorrect but not fraudulent, a motion for relief must be filed within one year after the entry of the Final Judgment.
Contact Pinellas County Divorce Attorney Richard C. Griesinger today!