To calculate the amount of child support payments a parent will be responsible for paying, the court will look at several factors such as the income of each parent as well as things like the costs associated with childcare. These things, however, can change. Either parent may later make more or less money. The child may no longer need daycare and, thus, child care costs would significantly decrease. For whatever reason, factors used in the original child support calculation can change. Because of this, you may be able to seek a child support modification.
When Can You Request a Child Support Modification?
Florida courts use the state child support guidelines to determine child support. Usually, the court must order the amount of child support that is calculated according to the guidelines. A child support order, however, may be modified later on when one of the parents can demonstrate that there has been a “substantial change in circumstance.” The parent requesting the modification carries the burden of proving that there has been a substantial change. The requested change may be for an increase or decrease in the amount of child support.
For a decrease in child support payments to be granted, the substantial change in circumstances may be something such as:
- The payer spouse lost a job or experienced a substantial decrease in income;
- The receiving spouse had an increase in income; or
- There was a decrease in the expenses relating to the child.
For an increase in child support payments to be granted, the substantial change in circumstances may be something such as:
- The receiving spouse lost a job or experienced a substantial decrease in income;
- The payer spouse had an increase in income; or
- There was an increase in the expenses relating to the child.
Whatever the substantial change in circumstances may be, the revised income must result in the child support amount increasing or decreasing by a minimum of 15% or $50, whichever is greater.
In addition to the above, there may also have been a substantial shift in parenting time that would merit modification of child support. If there has been a deviation between parenting time as it was outlined in the parenting plan and the actual parenting plan in practice, then the court may decide to recalculate child support based on the actual parenting plan in practice.
Orlando Family Law Attorneys
You cannot designate a child support award as something that cannot be modified. If the basic requirements for modification exist, the child support award will always be modifiable under Florida law. If you are seeking an increase or decrease in a child support amount, contact the team of dedicated family law attorneys at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou. Do not wait until you are unable to make child support payments to seek a modification. The consequences for failure to pay court ordered child support are severe. Contact us today.