Can Child Support Be Modified?

The circumstances of your life today may be different than those you were experiencing when your divorce was finalized. If this is happening to you, you need to know that you can ask for your child support order to be modified. The modification you seek may be temporary or permanent. If you are thinking about going down this route, you should consider the following factors that could impact your modification.

When To Seek Modification

In most states, child support is considered along with all other aspects of a divorce. Your children that are under the age of 18 have the right to get the same amount of financial support that they would have received from both parents, had both parents remained married.

During the divorce proceeding, you and your spouse would have been asked to present evidence with regards to both of your abilities to support the children. Typically, this evidence is in the form of tax returns and pay stubs. The judge orders child support from one spouse or the other depending on the evidence provided. If you are paying child support and are now making less than you were, or if you are receiving child support and your spouse is now making more, you may wish to seek a modification.

Factors Considered

There are several reasons that you may seek to modify child support.

  1. Decrease in income: The parent who is making child support payments may be making less than they were at the time of the divorce. On the other hand, the spouse receiving payments may be making significantly less and need additional assistance.
  2. Increase in needs: As children age, they need more support. Your child may have been very young at the time of your divorce but is now of an age where braces, sports and extracurricular activities are in their future. This could lead to an increased need for financial support on the part of the custodial parent.
  3. Increase to income: If the parent responsible for making child support payments receives an inheritance or substantial pay raise and does not voluntarily increase their amount of child support, the custodial parent may seek to have a modification ordered.

Temporary Versus Permanent Modification

The judge presiding over your case may grant a modification on a temporary or permanent basis. A temporary modification may be ordered for a one-time expenditure. A permanent modification will be made if the needs of the child have changed and are not expected to return to their previous state.

The parent seeking modification may request that it is either temporary or permanent, but a judge will make the ultimate decision. You certainly have the right to seek a modification if your circumstances, the circumstances of your ex or the needs of your children have changed. If you need assistance with child support in Orlando, reach out to our team. We will review your needs during a free case evaluation and talk to you about ways we can help you. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation, and learn more about your rights in family court.