Archive: March 2022

March 27, 2022

Modifying Child Support Orders: What You Need to Know

In Florida, child support orders may start for children when they are fairly young, and continue for years after their birth. A person’s life may change dramatically over the years; they might get a different job, earn promotions or raises, make less money if life changes such as injuries or other ailments prevent them from being able to work. When these changes occur, the child support order may no longer reflect the current life circumstances of the parents. Now, it’s important to note that these can only be changed in court.

The amount of child support paid may be too high or too low, depending on the circumstances. The child support order may be changed in these instances. However, not every change in the circumstances will result in a change in the child support order. Changes must be substantial and permanent in order to change the order.

So when can child support orders be changed? If you want to learn more about this, then we’ve got just the thing for you. Here’s a brief breakdown of what you need to know when it comes to modifying child support orders.

What Are the Requirements for Child Support Modifications?

If a substantial change in the circumstances results in a change of at least 15% of the child support order if the modification is requested within three years after the original order was made, or 10% of the child support order if the modification is requested after three years, it can be said that there has been a substantial change in the circumstances.

A substantial change in custody is a large, permanent change to an arrangement. These large shifts in living situations must be changes that will last longer than six months. Permanent changes to living arrangements generally need to be involuntary changes that occurred because of something that was out of a parent’s control, like a business downturn, or a significant raise for the other parent.

How Do You Make Child Support Modifications Official?

Parents can reach their own agreements on child support, but anyone can ask the court to change the order. The person who wants to change the amount needs to file a petition with the court and have a hearing where they present evidence. If one parent doesn’t follow this process, then the court will enforce the original order.

Most states have procedures for modifying child support orders. For example, to change your child support agreement you may need to fill out the proper forms and submit them to the court. If a judge agrees that the modification of the agreement is appropriate, the court will usually approve it based on your application alone, without a court hearing.

When parents can’t agree on a child support modification, they’ll have to appear in court to argue their case. A judge will listen to their arguments and decide whether a change in child support will be granted. This means more time and money wasted on court fees and legal expenses.


We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you better understand the process of changing child support orders. While this process may seem daunting, it’s not something that you won’t be able to do as long as you’ve got good foundational knowledge on the subject. If you need more help with this, we suggest working with a legal professional.

We understand if this is a little too complicated to handle on your own. Luckily, there is something you can do to make handling this process infinitely easier. If you need the advice and services of Jacksonville attorneys specializing in family law, contact Dorsey Law JAX.

March 18, 2022

6 Terms to Be Aware of When It Comes to Divorce and Custody

Family law in Florida has very clear provisions about different parts of divorce and custody. Many of these terms and clauses can accurately outline what former spouses and children can expect of one another during such a situation and arrangement.

Divorce is quite straightforward, as it is defined as the dissolution of a marriage or relationship that involves legal paperwork and possibly a court hearing. Custody is also understood as the legal rights and responsibilities that a parent or guardian may have over a child.

However, there are more terms to the whole situation than just those two. A variety of phrases and words will likely be heard at one point or another throughout your divorce and custody proceeding. For proper guidance throughout such sessions and trials. It’s ideal to seek a knowledgeable family lawyer in Florida to help you out.

To provide you more insight, here are some terms to be aware of when it comes to divorce and custody:

1) Parental Responsibility

One of the most important things to do when filing for a divorce is to find out what your parental responsibility is. This means knowing what you can and cannot do for your child; this include issues regarding their schooling and health, among many others. Each parent should know their obligations for a person.

2) Visitation Rights

Visitation rights refer to the process in which a non-custodial parent can visit their child. Usually, this process is outlined in the divorce settlement. On the other hand, some have an open visitation schedule that allows parents to visit their children. The visitation rights involve a case-by-case situation analysis in court.

3) Parenting Plan

There are two types of parenting plans that can be set into place. One is known as a “joint parenting plan”, which is a plan that allows both parents to share responsibilities and custody of their children. The other is a “sole-parenting plan”, which involves only one parent having custody of their kids.

4) Time-Sharing

Apart from visitation rights, it’s important to time-share. Time-sharing has to do with how much time each parent will spend with the child. The child’s schedule will be set by the court, as they will decide how many days or hours each parent will be allowed to spend with their child. The information is usually shared on a day-by-day calendar basis.

5) Mediation

Being the two parties involved in the divorce, it’s no surprise that emotions may get involved. Mediation is a way for two former spouses to communicate and talk about the divorce and custody. A neutral third party, the mediator, acts as the judge who will intervene in the conversation and help everyone come to an agreement.

6) Alimony

Alimony is also known as spousal support. This is when one party gives financial support to the other party after the divorce. This process works because the receiving party will see the amount of money they can receive monthly. Alimony is always negotiated by the parties involved and not imposed by the judge.


Some of the most important terms to know when it comes to divorce and custody. Remember, you can always ask an attorney for more information or clarification on the terms and your unique situation.

Want to know more about divorce and child custody? Dorsey Law JAX attorneys specialize in family law, criminal law, and personal injury in Jacksonville, FL. Get in touch with us today!

March 11, 2022

Knowing Your Prenuptial Agreement and What It Entails

So, you’re about to get married, but you and your partner have decided to get into a prenuptial agreement. There is a certain stigma that swirls around this topic, so you may not be all too familiar with many of its aspects.

Of course, it’s still a perfectly valid agreement to get into before tying the knot. It’s simply in the best interests of you and your partner to figure out the purpose and details of your prenup and what it really entails.

What Is a Prenup?

A prenuptial agreement is basically a legally binding contract between you and your spouse-to-be. It’s mainly a long-term arrangement that outlines how your separate assets will be handled in case of a divorce or death.

Additionally, a prenuptial agreement can ensure that your spouse will not receive any inheritance from your parents or any members from your side of the family, should that be stipulated. So, there are a lot of legal aspects and implications to consider, but it can also be a nice gesture of openness and honesty between you and your partner.

Why You May Want a Prenup

A prenuptial agreement is something that you and your partner should approach with an open mind. It’s also not something you should just jump right into lightly. So, you should take some time to consider your reasons for pursuing it.

There are a few pretty common reasons to consider this route.

One significant reason is to protect the assets you already have. It’s simply good to be aware that the split will be fair and that it will be handled in a way that could benefit both you and your partner.

The other reason is to prevent future assets from entering the marriage. These assets could be inheritances or money that your parents leave you down the line. You might not want that money to go to your spouse or bring any conflict, so it’s a good idea to set some rules and boundaries surrounding these assets.

This agreement will also define the separation of assets from each individual before entering into a marriage. This way, you can more easily distribute funds and responsibilities from earnings in the marriage, separate from the assets you each already have personally.

How Long a Prenup Lasts

There are a few different ways to approach the length of your prenup.

One is to keep the agreement in place for the full duration of your marriage. In this sense, it acts more like a legal document that outlines the goals of your marriage and how everything will be handled.

Another option is to have it expire after a certain amount of time. In this case, you can say you want it to be in effect for a few years or until a certain age or event has been reached. In the end, it’s up to you and your partner to decide how long you want the agreement to last.


Getting married is an exciting and big step. However, you may be wondering whether you and your partner should get a prenuptial agreement in place. Ultimately, it’s up to you and your partner to decide if you want one. If you know the criteria and stipulations that come with it, you can make a more informed decision.

If you’re looking for the top Jacksonville attorneys specializing in family law, reach out to the Dorsey Law firm. With over 35 years of experience, we can provide you with help with your prenup and more. Contact us today at (904) 394-2865 for a consultation.

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