Seeking a modification for child support

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Child Support on Wednesday, February 24, 2016.

Orders for child support can be in place for several years. During this time, a lot can change in a parent’s life and in a child’s life. Because of this, you should understand that if you are currently bound by the terms of a child support order, there are conditions under which the order can be modified.

Having a court order modified can be much more complicated than you expect. There are many requirements that must be met in order for a court to approve this action and failure to follow proper procedure could end up making matters much worse.

To begin with, you should understand that in order for a child support order to be modified, a judge must approve it. This means that a petition must be filed with the court that approved the original order.

You should also know that permanent modifications are typically granted only when a parent can prove that a significant change has happened and makes the original order no longer appropriate. A significant change can mean a dramatic increase or decrease of one parent’s earnings, changing medical needs of the child or a shift in custody.

Finally, you should be aware that you are still going to be held to the payment requirements set in the original order until and unless a modification request is approved. If the courts are not convinced that you have been doing your best to keep up with payments, they may blame you instead of your circumstances for non-payment.

Because of how complex these situations can be, it is generally wise to have legal counsel should you be in a position to request or challenge a modification. Without an attorney, you can be in danger of making costly mistakes due to unfamiliarity with the legal system and/or Florida child support laws. Discussing your concerns and questions about child support modification with your lawyer can prove to be a great source of relief and support during such a difficult time.