Modification of Support in Florida

Modification of Support in Florida

 For Modification of Time-Sharing/Custody click here.

If you are making a support payment, alimony or child support, or possibly both, the support is generally modifiable so long as the modification is consistent with the law.

For child support, the court initially entering an order requiring one or both parents to make child support payments has continuing jurisdiction after the entry of the initial order to modify the amount and terms and conditions of the child support payments:If the modification is found by the court to be in the best interests of the child;

  • When the child reaches majority;
  • If there is a substantial change in the circumstances of the parties;
  • If Florida Statute §743.07(2) applies (extension of support past majority if the child is dependent due to a mental or physical incapacity);
  • When a child is emancipated, marries, joins the armed services, or dies.

Substantial Change in Circumstances Test

When seeking a modification, of alimony or child support, based on a substantial change in the circumstances, the Substantial Change in Circumstances test applies and states; that a change in circumstance must be significant, material, involuntary, and permanent in nature. When support is ordered, such changes in circumstances that would allow the court to modify support should demonstrate a substantial impairment in the ability to pay, or a substantial decrease in the need of the support.

Therefore, if you quit your job, you cannot expect the court to grant you a modification because your position is voluntary. Likewise, if you are fired from your job, you cannot expect the court to grant you a modification the next day. This would not be considered a permanent change in circumstances. The courts have ruled that for a particular change to be permanent it must be at least lasting a year. My advice, seek an attorney as soon as something happens. Let the attorney give you the advice that fits your particular situation.

Heavier Burden Test

As to child support only, I have seen agreements from a dissolution of marriage or from a paternity action where one person has agreed to pay child support over and above what is required in the child support guidelines. This is a special circumstance, as the courts would now require you to show that the change in circumstance and now there is a “heavier burden” test. As the amount of child support is based upon an agreement, a heavier burden is placed upon the person seeking in the modification then would normally be required if the amount of child support was consistent with the child support calculation, consistent with Florida Statute 61.30, when you entered into the agreement. So not only must a person’s ability to pay child support change, there must also be something else. The something else may be that at the time you enter into an agreement the child was attending day care, but now is not.

Trust an Experienced Divorce Attorney/Divorce Lawyer to handle your Support Case

 Florida Law on divorce is not easy and has difficult rules and procedures. Do not do it alone. I always offer a free consultation. There is no better way than sitting down face-to-face with me to learn what your rights are and to get what you deserve. If you are reading this I am sure you know someone, a friend or family member, that has a horror story regarding their own experience. That is why you should always consult an attorney that practices Divorces and Family Law and nothing else. Someone like me. I do not practice criminal law or elder law, or many other types of law. I am Florida Divorce and Family Law attorney that understands the laws completely, because I handle family law matters on a regular basis. I will always listen compassionately and attentively to your needs and concerns and provide you with the best advice for your particular case.