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What Qualifies for Child Support Modification?


Both parents have a duty to financially support their child, and in cases of divorce or paternity the noncustodial parent typically pays the custodial parent support to cover the child’s daily expenses and care. However, sometimes certain circumstances arise that require a modification to the existing child support order to either increase or decrease the amount, and if you believe that your case warrants a modification our office can help. To learn more about modifying a child support order, talk to the knowledgeable Tampa family attorneys at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III today.

Modification versus Appeal

The first step in modifying a child support order is determining whether a modification or an appeal is the best option for your case. An appeal occurs immediately after the final determination of child support in a paternity or divorce matter. Appeals must be filed within thirty days of the final judgment and are based on the assertion that the court erred in its judgment based on mistakes in substantive law or procedure. The issue is then taken to the next level of court, the appeals court, in Florida for the appellate justices to review the case.

A modification occurs months or years after the final judgment of child support in a case. Modification petitions are appropriate when a substantial change in circumstances has occurred for either parent or the child since the final judgment that necessitates a change to the child support award. In order to qualify as a substantial change in circumstances the situation must be permanent, material, substantial, and unforeseen at the time that the initial judgment was rendered.

Circumstances for Support Modification

Not all changes merit a modification to child support in Florida. For example, a temporary job layoff, cost of living increase, taking a lower paying job, and being terminated for reasons within the parent’s control do not generally qualify for a modification. However, certain changes in circumstances do typically qualify for a modification to either increase or decrease the amount of child support awarded. These substantial change in circumstances can include the following:

  • Significant increase in a parent’s pay
  • Significant decrease in a parent’s pay
  • The permanent loss of a job
  • New physical illness or disability of a parent
  • New physical illness or disability of the child
  • Support of a new child by the noncustodial parent
  • Child reaches adult age, and more.

To learn more about whether the circumstances in your case qualify for a modification of a child support order, talk to an experienced Florida family law attorney today.

Talk to Our Office Now

Do you have questions about filing for a modification of your child support order in the Tampa Bay area as either the custodial or noncustodial parent? If so, the experienced family law attorneys at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case now.





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