The short answer is that child support can be modified in Florida. However, a modification is not guaranteed, and depends on the individual circumstances of each parent and child. After all, the purpose of child support is to provide for a child’s basic needs by guaranteeing that he or she lives in an environment in which their needs are adequately met.
Child support payments are meant to provide a child with:
Life Changes Can Necessitate a Modification
Generally speaking, a paying parent is legally required to make monthly payments until his or her child either reaches the age of majority (18), or graduates from high school, whichever occurs first. However, the financial circumstances of a parent and the basic needs of a child may naturally change between the time a child support order is established and its termination. Nevertheless, even if a parent is facing significant financial hardships, he or she can’t ignore the terms established by the original court order. In fact, a paying parent can face severe legal penalties and even jail time for missing child support payments. Likewise, a parent receiving child support can’t just demand additional funds from the paying parent without demonstrating the existence of changes that necessitate a child support modification.
Fortunately, Florida law does permit child support modifications so long as the requesting parent can prove a “substantial change in circumstances” (Fla. Stat. § 61.14). If you find yourself considering a modification, it’s important to be proactive and seek legal representation.
Either parent can request a modification under the following circumstances:
- One parent’s financial situation has significantly changed
- One parent loses his or her job
- The child’s financial needs have changed
- The paying parent has other children to financially support
- The paying parent has been incarcerated
- One party does not exercise the timesharing to which the parties agreed, or which the Court ordered
During your court hearing, a judge will weigh your financial circumstances against the needs of your child. It’s important to recall that the court always serves the best interests of a child when it comes to timesharing and child support matters. For this reason, it’s imperative to retain the services of an experienced attorney who can litigate on your behalf and show the court why a child support modification would be in the best interest of our child.
Explore Your Legal Options by Scheduling a Consultation
It can be difficult to face financial hardships on a single income, especially when you want to safeguard your ability to provide for your child’s needs. Contact K. Dean Kantaras, P.A. to discuss your options for a child support modification. During your consultation, our compassionate and trial-tested Clearwater post-divorce modification attorneys can review your personal situation, explain your legal options, and develop a litigation strategy to help you achieve the child support modification you and your child need.
Retain skilled and experienced legal representation. Call K. Dean Kantaras, P.A. at (727) 939-6113 to schedule a consultation.