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What is a Substantial Change in Circumstances?

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There are many issues that must be decided by the spouses before a divorce can be finalized, such as alimony, child support, and custody. However, over time the situation can change for one or both former spouses as well as their children that may necessitate a change in the original divorce decree. When asked to make this type of change, the court in Florida looks at the issue through the lens of whether a substantial change in circumstances has occurred. However, not many people know what it takes for something to be considered a substantial change.

At the law office of Blair H. Chan, III, our team of legal professionals is here to help with all of your divorce and family law needs, including claims of a substantial change in circumstances. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free consultation of your legal matter with us now.

What Does it Take to Be a Substantial Change?

In order for a situation to rise to the level of a substantial change in circumstances, the Florida court has held that the circumstances must be significant, material, involuntary, and permanent in nature. In addition, the new circumstances could not have been considered at the time that the divorce was finalized. Florida court cases have further defined what does and does not count as a substantial change in circumstances for the purposes of family law issues, such as child support, child custody, and spousal support payments.

What is a Substantial Change?

Florida courts have found that a serious or terminal illness or disability of a former spouse or child may qualify as a substantial change in circumstances. In addition a large promotion or sudden job loss may also be seen as a substantial change in circumstances. If a parent develops a substance abuse problem or mental health issues it may qualify as a substantial change, as does the cohabitation or remarriage of a former spouse that is receiving alimony payments.

What is Not a Substantial Change?

There are also many situations that may alter a former spouse or child’s life that does not rise to the level of a substantial change in circumstances. A small promotion or cost of living increase in income is not usually seen as a substantial change in circumstances. Nor is a temporary layoff or a relatively small demotion in title or pay. Relocation is also not typically seen as a substantial change if it is within fifty miles, but may qualify as one if the move is out of state or a significant distance away. An experienced Florida family law attorney will be able to review the particulars of your case and advise you on whether your issue meets the qualifications for a substantial change in circumstances.

Let Us Help You Today

If you would like to speak with a Tampa family attorney, call or contact the law office of Blair H. Chan, III today to schedule a free consultation.

 

Resource:

floridabar.org/the-florida-bar-journal/florida-supreme-court-defines-substantial-change-in-child-custody-modification-proceedings/

https://www.bchanlaw.com/do-i-need-my-exs-permission-to-take-my-child-on-vacation/

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