When And How To Modify Child Support in Florida

modification child supportThere are many situations under which agreed upon or mandated Child Support arrangements may require modification. In fact, child support modification is one of the most common concerns many people face post-divorce as they navigate life as single parents.

In order to best understand circumstances  leading to modifying child support, visit our website to learn more about  the factors determining Florida Child Support. In Florida, a court will issue a child support order outlining what parents must do to adequately support and care for their children. This court order makes clear the financial responsibilities each parent must meet for their children’s housing, food, education, health care and other living expenses.

In order to modify child support arrangements, you must first have a substantial change of circumstances since the entry of the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, or it may be from the entry of the last Florida Family Court order addressing your child support arrangements.

Florida Child Support Modification Guidelines

There are many complex situations under which the mandated child support arrangement might change. The payer of child support and the recipient both have rights to petition for modification due to a change in financial circumstances, or according to the child’s needs.

In order for the court to modify child support, the change of circumstances giving rise to a potential child support modification must be substantial AND involuntary in nature.

Situations that might warrant filing a supplemental petition for modification of child support:

  • Significant change in income or financial ability of either party (due to involuntary loss of job, loss of income, long-term medical concerns, hospitalization, etc.)
  • Health insurance becomes available and cost of insurance is incurred
  • Child is emancipated or decrease in children’s care expenses (i.e., daycare no longer required)
  • An increase in income (due to new employment, business venture, etc.) for either party will offset the child support equation, thereby decreasing the child support obligation.

In order for the Florida Family Law court to determine a substantial change in circumstances has taken place, and warrants a modification, the amount provided for under the Child Support Guidelines must be at least a 15% difference (or $50.00 per month, whichever is greater) from the amount previously ordered.

Florida Family Law Courts are not hesitant to make modifications if it is in the best interest of the children involved. Parents seeking court ordered modifications will be required to file a supplemental petition for modification of child support and summons. This is the standard filing process used in Florida for all modification requests.

Should your child support arrangement require modification due to changes in life circumstances, seek the help of your Florida family law attorney to present the factors listed above in a light most favorable to your circumstances. Child support modification is not as simple, or as fast, as many parents might hope or expect.

If you have questions regarding Child Support Modification in the State of Florida, please contact: Eric C. Cheshire (561) 655-8844 or eric@cheshirefamilylaw.com