Life changes happen often and when they do, you need to ensure that you are still meeting your child support obligations while being able to maintain a stable financial status. If you have recently become unemployed; have declared bankruptcy; have had to move; or have had an unforeseen medical crisis you can petition the court to change your child support payments.
The basis for child support modification in Florida starts with proving a substantial change of circumstances since the entry of the Final Judgment (or from the entry of the last order addressing child support). Obtaining a child support modification in Florida is not as easy as some people may think. The substantial change of circumstance giving rise to a potential child support modification must be involuntary in nature. What this means, is that a person who voluntarily quits their job is probably unlikely to obtain child support modification in Florida.
Here is a list of some of the factors that may serve as the basis for a child support modification in Florida to lower child support:
- Paying party's involuntary loss of a job;
- Paying party's involuntary loss of income;
- Receiving party making more money;
- Children's expenses decreasing (i.e. no more daycare);
- Increased timesharing;
- One of the parties' children has turned eighteen (18) or emancipated.
Alternatively, here is a list of some of the factors that may serve as the basis for a child support modification in Florida to increase child support:
- Receiving party's loss of a job;
- Receiving party's loss of income;
- Paying party making more money;
- Children's expenses increasing;
- Paying party is not engaging in court ordered timesharing schedule.
If the Court finds there has been a substantial change in circumstances, the child support guidelines (e.g. the parties' respective income) will once again come into play in determining the new child support amount. Additionally, according to Florida Statutes Section 61.13 (1) (b) the guidelines may provide the basis for proving a substantial change in circumstances upon which a modification of an existing order may be granted. However, the difference between the existing monthly obligation and the amount provided for under the guidelines shall be at least 15 percent or $50, whichever amount is greater, before the court may find that the guidelines provide a substantial change in circumstances.
If you have had a significant change in your life that could affect your ability to adhere to your child support order, you should discuss your case with an experienced attorney that can help you legally modify your child support payments. Failure to do so through the court and simply paying less child support because you “just can't afford it” could get you into serious financial and legal trouble.
At Segarra & Associates, P.A., we are available to help you with the modification of your child support. We will fully investigate your case and make a determination on whether your situation affects your ability to make your full child support payments. The goal is for your child support payments to be fair based on your current economic circumstances.
Contact us for a consultation regarding the modification of your child support. We are committed to giving your case our full attention and are available now to speak with you. Call us today. (305) 742-5042.