Many divorce decrees in Florida involve child support. As your life circumstances evolve, you or your former spouse may find that a change is necessary. You can modify child support in Florida through the court system.
Before you proceed, make sure that your current order qualifies for a modification and explore the different reasons a child support order can be modified.
Does Your Current Order Qualify for a Modification?
Before the court will grant a child support modification in Florida, you have to verify that the change would be large enough to warrant a modification. The resulting change must be identifiable. If you have completed the calculation and the change meets this requirement, you can consult with a child support attorney in West Palm Beach to plan your next step. Typically, you must prove a change in one of three areas to request child support modification in Florida.
Changes in Income
Many child support order modifications are due to a change in income. Whether you experience a drastic increase or decrease in income, your child support obligations will likely change. You may also request a modification if your former spouse or other parent has a major change in income.
Changes in Expenses
If expenses related to a child’s care change substantially, the court may grant a modification of child support. There are several ways a child’s expenses may change. Examples include:
- A medical diagnosis that requires ongoing care
- Enrollment in a private school
- Changes in daycare costs or frequency
- Different health insurance expenses
A change in the parents’ expenses also qualify. For example, if your alimony order changes or ends, you could see your child support increase or decrease. Other examples include:
- A child support order for another child
- Sudden increase or decrease in payroll taxes
- A major increase or decrease in one or both parents’ health insurance expenses
Changes in Custody
Changes in custody can also trigger a child support modification. For example, consider parents with a legal 50-50 timesharing split. If one parent consistently fails to exercise their parenting time and the other parent can prove it, the court may adjust child support to reflect that. Similarly, if the parents officially change the custody agreement, they can also request a child support modification to match the new agreement.
Filing the Correct Paperwork
Before you modify child support in Florida, you have to verify the requirements in your county. The person requesting the change must file the Supplemental Petition to Modify Child Support. Then, the petition is served to the other parent. In most situations, the parties must go through mediation before a judge hears the case.
The process can be straightforward if both parties come to an agreement. However, in many cases, child support issues can be complicated. It is essential to work with a child support lawyer to ensure that your best interests are advocated.
Contact Our Child Support Attorney in West Palm Beach
If you need to modify child support in Florida, make sure you have the support and guidance of a child support attorney. Attorney Eric C. Cheshire helps clients navigate complicated family issues to get the support they need. His testimonials reflect his passion for family law and his dedication to his clients. To discuss your legal needs, contact The Law Office of Eric C. Cheshire P.A. at 561-655-8844.