Modifying a Child Support Order in Florida
Being awarded child support can seem like a real victory, but what happens if the person doesn’t pay? Or what if there is a change in circumstances that requires an adjustment in the ordered amount of child support? It’s important to point out that all Florida child support orders are modifiable, as long as the change is at least 15% or $50, whichever is more.
Modifying a Child Support Order due to Financial Need
There are circumstances that make it necessary to request a modification to child support. The request can be to either decrease or increase the amount of support being received.
Some factors that can prompt a modification request for a decrease in child support are:
- Decrease in regular salary
- Loss of a job
- Recipient now making more money
- A decrease in child expenses
Some factors that can support a request to increase the child support include:
- Recipient’s job loss or loss of income
- Party paying the support is now making more money
- An increase in child expenses
Child related expenses that can lead to a request for modification can be varied. Some of the more common ones include:
- Alimony — It’s common to have temporary alimony end, which means a decrease in income. These tend to go hand-in-hand as child support will decrease as alimony increases, and vice versa.
- Daycare — If daycare is included in the child support order, then any change can prompt a modification request. Daycare expenses must be because the recipient parent is employed. Daycare expenses don’t apply to a stay-at-home parent situation.
- Income tax — You might not think income tax is a valid reason for modifying child support, but what happens in the case of a parent who moves to a new location that now has state and city payroll taxes. This can cause a dramatic drop in net income.
- Other support orders — If there are other valid child support orders, they are deducted from the total income.
Modification due to Change in Parenting Time
A major change in parenting time can also spark a request to modify child support orders in Florida. If a child support order is based on the child spending 215 nights with one parent while the other parent gets 150 nights, but the pattern shows one parent getting 265 nights and the other only 100, the court has the right to modify the award, despite what the parenting plan allows. This may not apply in certain circumstances where the “minority parent” has the child at least 20% of the nights. This means if the parenting plan shows one parent as having less than 73 nights, which is 20%, and the historical pattern still demonstrates a number that is under 20%, there would be no variation in the amount of child support.
Retaining a Florida Family Law Attorney
If you need assistance with an existing child support order, you need a Florida family law attorney who has ample experience in handling child support modifications. The attorneys at Schwartz | White have over 50 years of experience handling child support modifications and enforcements. Contact our office at 561-391-9943 to schedule a consultation.