Things to Consider When Reopening a Family Court Case

Things to Consider When Reopening a Family Court Case

Things to Consider When Reopening a Family Court Case


Reopening a family court case can be a daunting task, but sometimes, it's necessary. Whether you're looking to modify a previous court order, obtain a restraining order, initiate a custody battle, or enforce a court order that has been violated, going back to court might be your best option. However, it's crucial to understand the legal implications of reopening a family court case and the factors that can influence the outcome of your case. In this blog post, we'll discuss some essential things to consider before reopening a family court case.


1. Valid Reasons for Reopening a Family Court Case 

Before you decide to reopen your family court case, it's critical to determine whether you have valid reasons for doing so. Florida law allows parties to file a motion for modification or enforcement of a court order if there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the original order was issued or if one party has failed to comply with the court order. Some examples of substantial changes in circumstances may include a job loss, a serious injury, or relocation to another state. However, not every change will be sufficient to warrant a modification of the court order. It's advisable to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can evaluate your case and advise you accordingly.

2. Deadline for Filing a Motion 

In Florida, there is a statute of limitations for filing a motion to modify a court order or enforce a court order. The deadline for filing a motion to modify a child support order, for instance, is typically three years from the date of the last court order. For child custody and visitation, the deadline is two years. However, these deadlines don't apply to situations involving fraud, misrepresentation, or other exceptional circumstances. It's crucial to be aware of these deadlines as missing them can result in the dismissal of your motion.

3. Evidence to Support Your Case 

When reopening a family court case, you'll need to provide evidence to support your case. This evidence may include documentation of the substantial changes in circumstances, such as medical records, financial statements, or school reports. If you're alleging that the other party has violated a court order, you'll need to provide evidence of the violation, such as text messages, emails, witnesses, or police reports. It's essential to gather and organize your evidence as early as possible to make a strong case.

4. The Role of the Judge 

When you reopen a family court case, your case will be assigned to a judge who will preside over the proceedings. The judge's role is to hear the evidence presented by both parties and make a decision based on the law and the facts of the case. The judge's decision will be final and binding, except in cases where there are legal errors or appealable issues. It's crucial to understand that the judge's decision will be based solely on the evidence presented in court, so it's essential to present your case as strongly as possible.

5. The Benefits of Hiring an Attorney 

Reopening a family court case is rarely a straightforward process. It involves a lot of legal maneuvering, complex procedures, and potential pitfalls. That's why it's crucial to hire an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process, advise you on the legal implications of your case, and represent your interests in court. An attorney can help you gather evidence, negotiate with the other party, draft legal pleadings, and present your case in court. With the right legal counsel, you can increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.



Reopening a family court case is a serious matter that requires careful consideration and competent legal representation. Before you decide to take this step, it's essential to determine whether you have valid reasons for doing so, meet the deadline for filing a motion, gather sufficient evidence to support your case, understand the role of the judge, and benefit from the expertise of a family law attorney. At Ilvento Law, we have extensive experience in handling family law matters, including reopening family court cases. If you need assistance with family law practice in Orlando, FL, contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you.

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