Child support obligations in Florida are set to ensure that children’s financial needs are being met by both parents after a divorce and not just by the parent who has the children the majority of the time. These obligations are set during divorces though and could be in place for many years. The financial circumstances of the parents can change over time though. Due to the change in circumstances a parent may no longer be able to afford the current child support obligation or it may no longer be fair.
Parents can request a modification of their child support orders. However, modifications cannot occur anytime there is any change in the circumstances. In order to qualify for a child support obligation, there must be a substantial change in the circumstances.
A substantial change in the circumstances
In order to demonstrate that there is a substantial change in the circumstances, the child support obligation, based on the current situation, must be at least 15% more or less than the current obligation and a minimum change of $50. This is determined by using the child support guidelines to determine the presumed child support obligation. All of the same definitions of gross income remain the same when determining whether there should be a modification of the child support obligation.
A substantial change in the circumstances could also occur if there is a change to the parenting time schedule or one parent is choosing not to exercise their parenting time.
Life is unpredictable in Florida and over the years people experience many different changes in their lives. Some of these changes can be financial and affect people’s ability to meet their obligations which can include their child support payments. In some situations, people will be able to modify their child support obligations. People may need to file motions with the court to have their obligation changed though. Experienced attorneys understand the process and may be able to guide one through the process.