Can I make Amendments to a Final Judgement?

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Hello and welcome to 60 Seconds with Sergio. I’m your host, Sergio Cabanas, Attorney-at-Law here in Florida. Thank you so much for joining me today.

So, today’s question is: “Sergio, I’ve already been through this divorce, this paternity action, or some other legal event and I don’t like how certain things turned out, or I changed my mind about certain things, and I’d like to go back and change it, to kind of make it better and refine things to be more to my advantage. Is there anything I can do?
The short answer is: “yes, under certain circumstances.”

Well, the easiest, most cost-effective way of correcting any situation like that is by simply reaching an agreement with your ex-spouse or ex-partner. Getting everything documented in writing is very important. Often times, people come to me, they say: “oh, verbally we discussed this”, or “verbally we had agreed to that”. “We’ve even done XYZ”, and they’re seeking now to enforce it. If it’s not in writing, it did not happen.
So, it’s important to get these agreements in writing. And this document, whatever the agreement is that changes one of the terms of the divorce or the paternity case, has to be filed with a court and properly adopted by a new final judgement or an amended final judgement. That’s what makes it legal and enforceable.
If we are not able to reach an agreement of course, it becomes a little more complicated. We have to look more specifically to the issue that we need to address. For example, if a given issue has not been made part of the case for example: who’s entitled to a child tax exemption. Then the case can be reopened and the issue can be discussed or litigated.
Depending on the circumstances we could also go a different route. For example, if we can prove something unusual happened in the underlying case such as fraud or some type of mistake; sometimes in a calculation of, for example, child support, or alimony, or equitable distribution, then that could be grounds to set aside whatever judgement there was and try to obtain a new judgement.
Another example is the discovery of new evidence. And so forth. All of this should be reviewed and analyzed by your attorney to decide whether or not you can proceed under this route and be able to obtain a new judgment. Just keep in mind that, if your case falls in one of these circumstances, the motion has to be filed within 1 year from the entry of the final judgment
that you are seeking to change. And finally, of course, we have what’s called modifications. That is, if there is a substantialunforeseen change of circumstances since the entry of that final judgement, that may provide you with a basis to go back to court and change a certain aspect of the judgement. So that we can reflect the reality of the situation. For example, if a spouse who is obligated to pay child support suddenly becomes permanently disabled, then that could be a set of circumstances that would warrant a modification of that final judgement.
So, if you find yourself in one of these circumstances, please, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney to get the right guidance.
I hope this short video provided you with that extra guidance that you may need over a complicated area of the law. Thank you again for joining me today. And, as always, stay informed so you can stay strong.

Hello and welcome to 60 Seconds with Sergio. I’m your host, Sergio Cabanas, Attorney-at-Law here in Florida. Thank you so much for joining me today.
So, today’s question is: “Sergio, I’ve already been through this divorce, this paternity action, or some other legal event and I don’t like how certain things turned out, or I changed my mind about certain things, and I’d like to go back and change it, to kind of make it better and refine things to be more to my advantage. Is there anything I can do?
The short answer is: “yes, under certain circumstances.” Well, the easiest, most cost-effective way of correcting any situation like that is by simply reaching an agreement with your ex-spouse or ex-partner. Getting everything documented in writing is very important. Often times, people come to me, they say: “oh, verbally we discussed this”, or “verbally we had agreed to that”. “We’ve even done XYZ”, and they’re seeking now to enforce it. If it’s not in writing, it did not happen.
So, it’s important to get these agreements in writing. And this document, whatever the agreement is that changes one of the terms of the divorce or the paternity case, has to be filed with a court and properly adopted by a new final judgement or an amended final judgement. That’s what makes it legal and enforceable.
If we are not able to reach an agreement of course, it becomes a little more complicated. We have to look more specifically to the issue that we need to address. For example, if a given issue has not been made part of the case for example: who’s entitled to a child tax exemption. Then the case can be reopened and the issue can be discussed or litigated.
Depending on the circumstances we could also go a different route. For example, if we can prove something unusual happened in the underlying case such as fraud or some type of mistake; sometimes in a calculation of, for example, child support, or alimony, or equitable distribution, then that could be grounds to set aside whatever judgement there was and try to obtain a new judgement.
Another example is the discovery of new evidence. And so forth. All of this should be reviewed and analyzed by your attorney to decide whether or not you can proceed under this route and be able to obtain a new judgment. Just keep in mind that, if your case falls in one of these circumstances, the motion has to be filed within 1 year from the entry of the final judgment
that you are seeking to change. And finally, of course, we have what’s called modifications. That is, if there is a substantialunforeseen change of circumstances since the entry of that final judgement, that may provide you with a basis to go back to court and change a certain aspect of the judgement. So that we can reflect the reality of the situation. For example, if a spouse who is obligated to pay child support suddenly becomes permanently disabled, then that could be a set of circumstances that would warrant a modification of that final judgement.
So, if you find yourself in one of these circumstances, please, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney to get the right guidance.
I hope this short video provided you with that extra guidance that you may need over a complicated area of the law. Thank you again for joining me today. And, as always, stay informed so you can stay strong.

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