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When can an existing child support order be modified?

| May 20, 2021 | Family Law |

Child support is essential to making sure a child has the financial support that they need to live a healthy, well-rounded life. However, a parent’s life can change warranting a modification of an existing child support order. Either the paying parent or the receiving parent can request a review of an existing support order to determine if it should be modified due to a change in circumstances.

Under Florida law, the parent applying for the modification bears the burden of showing that a change of circumstances exists that warrants modifying the existing support order. This change must be substantial, permanent and involuntary.

What constitutes a substantial change in circumstances?

If it has been less than three years since the support order was executed, last reviewed or modified a change in circumstances is substantial if the amount due would change by at least 15% but not less than $50. If it has been more than three years since the support order was executed, last reviewed or modified, a change in circumstances is substantial if the amount due would change by at least 10% but not less than $25.

What constitutes a permanent change in circumstances?

While what is permanent depends on the facts of the case, in general a permanent change in circumstances is one that lasts at least six months. Temporary changes will not suffice. For example, a job loss is generally not a permanent change in circumstances. However, a life-changing medical condition or involuntary early retirement may constitute a permanent change in circumstances.

When is a change in circumstances involuntary?

Voluntary changes are a result of a person’s choices, and do not warrant a modification. Involuntary changes result through no fault of the parent. A long-term illness or employment layoff may be considered involuntary changes in certain circumstances.

Learn more about child support modifications

Children deserve to have the financial support of both parents. However, sometimes a parent’s circumstances change in a way that warrants modifying an existing support order. This post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Those who want to learn more about child support modifications in Florida are encouraged to explore our firm’s website for further information.

 

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