After a divorce, ex-spouses often must continue to work with one another for the benefit of the children. If the circumstances of one of the former spouses change, it may require modifying the court-ordered child support arrangement. Below are answers to three common questions on child support modifications.
1. Does Florida Allow Child Support Modifications?
Pursuant to Florida law, both the payer and receiver have the right to petition for a payment modification. The statutes require that the petitioner’s situation meets a minimum change of $50 or 15% to the agreed-upon payments.
2. What Constitutes a Significant Change in Circumstances?
As both parties move on with their lives, a number of life changes may create the need to revisit the child support payment. Whether this includes a loss of income or a new job that pays more, a person’s financial situation highly factors into the equation. Other reasons to petition for a modification include an unexpected illness or disability that affects income, a significant increase in costs associated with the children’s health or child care, or a change in timesharing.
3. Do the Courts Set Time Limits?
The courts do not take petitions for child support modifications lightly. Although unexpected changes happen in life, these should not equate to frequently or regularly requesting changes. The court often sets time limits to deter people from requesting changes. Depending on the circumstance, it may lead to up to a five-year wait for another request.
Regardless of which party needs a modification, requesting a change should happen as soon as possible to avoid potential nonpayment and ensure the children live in a thriving environment.