CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATIONS
Florida Child Support Modifications
Child support is meant to provide for an allowance for the day-to-day needs of the child and provision for their health care. It is based on the net incomes of both parents, custody arrangements, number of children, and the children’s age(s). For a complete breakdown of the calculations, see the official Florida child support guidelines. The amount for child support is set in a divorce or paternity case, and a child support modification must be requested through the courts to change the amount.
WHEN IS A MODIFICATION TO CHILD SUPPORT APPROPRIATE?
In some cases, a parent may lose a job and be forced to take a job making less money after being assessed for a certain amount of child support during a divorce or paternity case. On the flip side, the custodial parent may get a substantial raise, which raises the total net income for both parents and decreases the child support obligation of the non-custodial parent.
In addition, the child may need additional health care for a disability which was discovered after the initial child support order. Changes like this must be permanent in nature - a child support modification will generally not be granted for a temporary situation. These are the most common scenarios, and generally easy to handle and inexpensive to process as long as both parties are in agreement.
WHEN IS A MODIFICATION TO CHILD SUPPORT INAPPROPRIATE?
If your current support payments fall within the Florida child support guidelines, it is highly unlikely that a modification will be granted. The court often requires a substantial change in circumstances to grant a modification; minor raises or decreases, small annual bonuses, and so on are generally not enough to grant a modification.
HOW DOES A CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION WORK?
Once we are engaged for a child support modification, we will file a petition to the court to modify the original child support order. The court will either accept or deny the modification. It is important to have a Florida family law attorney prepare the case for you to ensure the best chance of having your modification approved.
WHEN SHOULD I CONTEST A MODIFICATION TO CHILD SUPPORT?
As with any other family law case, a contested case - one in which both parties can’t agree - is much more expensive to fight. It may or may not be worth it to fight the modification depending on the circumstances. We will let you know if it is worth it for you to contest a child support modification in our initial free consultation.