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When Can I Modify a Child Support Order?


When children are involved in a Florida divorce, one of the aspects of the final divorce decree is establishing the amount of child support that must be paid from the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent for the child’s care and wellbeing. However, circumstances can change in the months and years after your divorce has been finalized, which may necessitate the modification of child support payments. If you would like to learn more about when your child support payments may be increased or decreased over time, call or contact the law office of Blair H. Chan, III in Tampa today.

When Can Child Support Be Modified?

Under Florida law, child support payments can be modified only if there is a substantial change in circumstances for one of the parents or the child. Most situations that rise to the level of a substantial change are involuntary in nature, so a parent cannot simply quit their job in order to avoid making child support payments. The change also cannot be incremental in nature. A cost of living pay raise or small cut in hours at work also does not qualify as a substantial change. The scenario also cannot be one that was known or could be anticipated at the time that the original child support order was created.

What Qualifies for an Increase in Support?

There are some situations that arise more often than others when a request is made to increase the level of child support payments in Florida. One of the most common reasons occurs when the custodial parent is laid off from their job and cannot provide for the basic needs of the child. Another reason is when the noncustodial parent receives a significant increase in income due to a raise or big promotion. Finally, child support can be increased if the needs of the child increase. For example, the child may require long term medical care or reach the age where more expensive extracurriculars become the norm.

What Qualifies for a Decrease in Support?

There are also common scenarios that qualify as a substantial change in circumstances to decrease the level of child support. One of the most common situations is when the noncustodial parent is laid off from their job and cannot find new employment to make the payments. Another reason is when the custodial parent receives a substantial increase in income because of a raise or promotion. Finally, child support payments might decrease if the child’s needs become less, such as no longer needing to pay for childcare costs.

Talk to Our Office Now

The ability of parents to pay child support and the needs of your child may change over time after your divorce. If you would like to talk to an experienced Tampa family attorney about your child support payments, call or contact the law office of Blair H. Chan, III today to schedule an initial consultation of your case now.





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