Broward County Modification Lawyer
Parents have the legal responsibility to provide for their child until he or she reaches the age of 18, or graduates high school — whichever happens later. However, if the minor child cannot graduate from high school prior to the age of 19, the child support is terminated upon the child's 18th birthday.
Child support may be modified by the court from time to time upon the showing by a party that there has been a substantial change in circumstance since the entry of the last court order. Usually the change in circumstance involves a parent's income going up or going down, or one of the children emancipating. Other changes in circumstance exist that can cause a modification as referenced below.
At the Law Offices of Mark Abzug, P.A. we assist clients in child support modifications. To schedule a consultation at a discounted rate in our Coral Springs law office, please call an attorney at (954) 753-1003, or fill out our online contact form.
When Circumstances Change
The court has the power to modify child support order when needed based on deviations from the child support guidelines. However, this isn't done automatically - for example, when one parent loses his or her job. You return to court and demonstrate the reason for the modification.
Certain life events can require modification of child support amounts. Some examples include:
- When one parent becomes unemployed
- When a child stops needing daycare
- When child's medical needs change
- When a child's educational needs change: needing tutoring, going to a private school, higher tuition costs, special needs education, etc.
- If there is more than one child for which support is being paid and one of the children becomes emancipated
In the State of Florida, a party is entitled to have their child support obligation modified in the event they can prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the entry of the law court order. If you become unemployed by no fault of your own and are unable to replace that income, despite your best efforts, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. As each month passes, your child support obligation becomes a vested right for the recipient. In other words, if you wait six months to hire a lawyer to lower your child support, the court will not apply the child support modification to the date that you lost your job. Instead, the court will apply the modification retroactive to the date that you filed your modification petition with the Clerk of the Court. The court does not know if you have a problem, unless you bring the problem to the court's attention.
Current Economic Difficulties
The child support guidelines are used to determine how much a parent pays each month. The final amount is primarily governed by income - the more money you make, the more money you will pay.
Considering the current challenging economic climate - jobs are being lost, incomes are going down - more and more people are requiring a child support modification. At the Law Offices of Mark Abzug, P.A., we work with clients who have suffered a job loss and are seeking a change in child support. Our aim, just like yours, is to ensure that your child's needs are met.
One of the main determining factors in calculating child support is income. Each parent is required to report his or her income. However, the court doesn't have to accept the figures provided. Sometimes people are voluntarily unemployed and/or under-employed. Some are self-employed and aren't forthcoming with accurate numbers. In such cases, the court looks at a number of factors: past employment history, education, earning potential, etc. Occasionally, expert witnesses come in and report a parent's income-related information to the court. The court will go to great lengths to obtain the information needed to determine child support.
For more information about divorce decree modifications, please contact a lawyer by calling (954) 753-1003. We offer consultations at a discounted rate in our