The basic thing you need to know is that the child support law in Florida allows you to modify child support. If the child support has come as an official decision of the state authorities, there is no way to make it permanent or non-subject to modification. According to the law, the modification shouldn’t be less than 15% or $50.
You have the right to file a motion with the court to modify child support whenever you feel like there is a legal ground for such a move. However, keep in mind that the authorities will carefully evaluate any request and make a realistic decision by the law.
What Are the Requirements for Child Support Modification?
The law defines “a significant change in circumstances” as the requirement to fulfill to qualify for a child support modification. It may be a change in one of the following areas:
- Parenting time
An income change is the most frequent reason to ask the authorities to modify child support. If you are the payer, you usually file this petition when your income decreases. However, the request may be filed by the payee, too. That happens in cases when they find out the earnings of the payer increased.
When considering to file this petition, keep in mind the 15% rule for the minimum change in child support. The basic math says that you shouldn’t consider filing for a modification unless the income changed for at least 15% in either direction. However, there is no absolute rule, which is why you may want to consult a professional lawyer before making an action.
Here is a list of reasons that count as acceptable expense changes when it comes to child support:
- Taxes – if your income taxes change significantly, it may be a reason to modify child support. That might happen when a parent changes cities or states as the tax rates can significantly vary from one state to another.
- Alimony – child support and alimony are directly connected. If you stopped receiving alimony, the law can recognize that as an income increase of the other party and allow an increase of the child support you received. You can also use paying alimony as a legal ground to pay less child support.
- Health insurance – if the premiums of your child’s health insurance change, it may lead to altering the child support amount. Keep in mind that payments for your insurance can also be counted as an income change.
- Daycare – if daycare expenses have significantly changed, that may call for a child support modification.
Your divorce order may have a parenting plan involved, and it specifies the exact number of overnights each parent gets with the children. However, in reality, this plan is subject to change. For example, one party may get 50 nights more than it was planned by the initial parenting plan. The new law allows parents to use this as a ground to alter the child support sum. However, keep in mind that both parents need to have at least 20% of overnights for the authorities to consider this request.