Life is constantly changing. From new career opportunities to illnesses, unexpected things happen which can affect our financial situations – and our child support. If you’re experiencing a life-changing event that has impacted you financially, you may have grounds for child support modification in Florida. But similar to when your child support arrangement was first decided, certain factors will affect any changes.
Child Support in Florida
Before any child support modifications are requested, it is important to remember the various areas that these legal arrangements cover. Judges have to adhere to state guidelines that are in place to look out for the best interests of the child.
These areas include:
- Basic necessities (food, clothing, shelter, etc.)
- Education costs
- Transportation and travel expenses
- Medical care
- Entertainment and extracurricular activities (sports, special events, etc.)
Child support agreements in Florida can also cover additional expenses like college tuition, textbooks, and dental care, depending on the original, signed documentation.
Florida Child Support Modification Guidelines
To qualify for child support modification in Florida, you must prove that circumstances that were the basis of the initial agreement have changed significantly. Whether this is the first time after a Final Dissolution of Marriage was signed, or you are trying to get something changed after the last time you were in Family Court, the following circumstances could warrant child support modification in Florida:
- An income increase due to a promotion at work, a job with a new company, or a new type of income-generating business venture could change the original child support equation
- A decrease in income or significant change in the ability to pay child support that may (or may not) be due to illness, hospitalization, long-term health issues, or involuntary job loss
- Childcare is no longer needed — or the child has been emancipated
The above guidelines for child support modification in Florida could apply to either parent. Whether you are receiving the payments or issuing them, each parent is allowed to submit a petition for changes. However, to be seen as viable in the eyes of the law, the parent who requests the changes must prove that the change is involuntary and substantial in nature.
Important note: In addition to proving that a substantial change has occurred in the circumstances of a party in a child custody agreement, a family law court will only approve a child support modification in Florida if the new amount is at least 15% more or less (or $50/month, whichever is greater) than the previously agreed upon amount.
Contact an Expert Child Support Attorney Today
Dean Tsourakis is an experienced criminal defense and family law attorney — helping parents and children in Clearwater with child support, child custody, divorce, and other needed areas of family law. Florida’s guidelines for child support are different in many ways than other states, and it is vitally important to have a child support lawyer that has deep expertise in family law in Florida when trying to get a child support modification.
Contact the law office of Dean Tsourakis today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation. He is dedicated to helping families in Clearwater with complex legal decisions regarding child support.on Jun 24, 2019