What Happens at a Child Support Modification Hearing?

Child support is court-ordered and must be paid to the custodial parent. After a child support order is entered, it can only be modified by the court under certain circumstances. A parent may only petition the court for child support modifications if one parent has experienced a “substantial change in circumstances.” Usually, this means something like one parent has experienced something like a job loss or a job change that affected their income. At the child support modification hearing, the court will determine whether there has been a substantial change in circumstances that merits modifying the existing child support order. 

Child Support Modification

One parent may have remarried or lost a job. A parent may be experiencing a period of financial hardship caused by something like an illness or a serious injury. One parent may even have been incarcerated. Whatever the substantial change in circumstance may be, both parents will have to present their case at the child support modification hearing. At a child support modification hearing, the court will hear from the parents. If either of the parents has chosen to retain a lawyer, the lawyers will represent them in court. Children are not usually present at child support modification hearings.

Child support is calculated using the income of both parents. This means that at a child support hearing or a child support modification hearing, both parties will need to present evidence about their current income levels and financial status. This evidence can be documentation including tax returns and pay stubs. The court will also need to see a copy of the custody agreement.

At the modification hearing, the parent who is requesting the child support modification will present a statement relating to the request and present any documentation supporting the basis for requesting the modification. Each parent will have the opportunity to present arguments to support his or her stance on the modification being proposed.

After weighing all of the evidence and arguments presented, the court will rule on the requested modification. The request may be denied. In this case, the child support order already in place will continue to be enforced as is. The request may be granted. If the modification is granted, the new child support amount will be paid as soon as the judgment is filed by the court. This, however, can take up to several months.

Florida Child Support Attorney

If you are looking to modify an existing child support order, talk to the dedicated child support attorneys at the Orlando Family Team. We can go over your situation with you and help you gather the documentation you need to present a solid case for modification. There is a lot of information to sift through when you are dealing with the family court system. You can count on us to clarify the often murky waters of family law. Contact us today.

About the Author
Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew and his partner, Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S., joined forces in March 2016 to form the unique and boutique husband and wife family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. Together, Andrew and Ophelia take a practical and team-based approach to all of their cases and clients to deliver the highest quality experience and representation.