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Child Support Modification

Family Law Attorneys Assisting Parents in the Miami Area

All parents have a moral and legal obligation to financially support their children. If you believe that you may qualify for a child support modification, it is important for you to speak to a skilled Miami child support lawyer who can advise you. Attorney Sandy T. Fox is a Florida Bar Board Certified specialist in Marital & Family Law who understands how to handle sensitive issues related to child support and custody in a compassionate yet confident manner. With over 14 years of experience, he can address your questions and resolve your concerns.

Pursuing a Child Support Modification

When it comes to child support in Florida, courts must adhere to statutory guidelines in setting the amount that must be paid. This is because the amount of child support that should be paid is based on a formula that is set forth in Florida Statute 61.30. When an initial child support determination is made, it is based on the number of children, the needs of the children, and the income of both parents.

Child support responsibilities continue until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever takes place later. In some cases, child support obligations may end when the child is emancipated, joins the armed forces, or is adopted by another person.

Child support orders can be modified if there has been a substantial, material, and ongoing change in circumstances since the last child support order was entered. This typically means that there has been a significant change in the income or financial ability of either party. The change should be one that was not recognized during the earlier proceedings, and it should be long-term and continuing in nature. Either parent may petition for a modification of child support as long as the change in child support amounts to 15 percent or a $50 modification, whichever is greater. As a result, certain adjustments can be made to child support determinations based on the following factors:

  • The cost of the child’s health insurance and medical expenses;
  • The cost of the child’s daycare;
  • The cost of accommodating any special needs;
  • Each parent’s income and assets;
  • A change in a parent’s employment status;
  • The total number of nights that the child spends with each parent; and
  • Other state and federal benefits.

If you believe that you meet the eligibility requirements to request a child support modification, the next step is to submit the Supplemental Petition to Modify Child Support, which gives you the chance to explain why you believe that the existing child support order should be modified. It is important to note that courts are typically unable to modify child support prior to the date of filing a supplemental petition. Thus, a party pursuing a modification should file the petition without delay, ideally with the assistance of an attorney.

When ruling on a supplemental petition to decrease child support, Florida courts will look to see if the substantial change in circumstances was voluntary. As a general rule, Florida courts will not permit a party to quit his or her job to pay less child support. Thus, the party seeking a child support modification must show that the change was involuntary.

To permanently change a child support judgment or order, the party seeking a modification is required to show that the change in circumstance is permanent. Under Florida law, a permanent change is one that will last a year or longer. It is easier to obtain an order modifying child support on a temporary basis in cases in which a parent might be looking for a job or has suffered a temporary disability.

Discuss Your Needs with a Child Support Lawyer in Miami

Florida child support laws accommodate parents who need to modify child support due to changed circumstances in the aftermath of a divorce. If you have any questions or concerns pertaining to child support modifications, you should consult the attorneys at the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox. You can rest assured that we will aim to help you resolve your issues in a stress-free and thoughtful way. We proudly represent people in cities such as Miami, Aventura, Hollywood, and other areas of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, as well as elsewhere in South Florida. To learn more about how we can help, feel free to call us at 800.596.0579 or contact us online.