Florida Statute § 61.30 governs the making and modification of child support orders in the state. If you, your child, or your child’s other parent experience a financial change that you believe may warrant a new support order or a modification of a previous support order, contact a child support attorney with The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates. Our competent legal counsel can help you file a successful petition for a support modification.
How Is Child Support Modification Determined?
Florida follows the Income Shares Model method of determining child support for calculating child support modification. Both parents’ net income is added to determine the combined household net income. Then a specific support amount is given by the Child Support Guidelines Chart based on that combined net income. The amount of each parent’s portion of the support obligation is based on that parent’s percentage of the net income. Other amounts for child care and medical expenses can also be added to the support amount.
A parent seeking a modification of a support order must show a substantial change in circumstances before a court will grant a petition. Specifically, there must be a difference of $50 or 15 percent — whichever is greater — between the previous support amount and the new amount provided for by the guidelines in order for a court to find that the change is sufficient enough to warrant a modification in the support order.
Which Changes May Warrant Modification Of Child Support?
Only changes of a continuing nature that were unknown at the time the previous support order was made will be considered. If a parent was responsible for the loss of employment or reduction of income, then that fact may negatively impact that request for a modification. Factors that a court will not consider include the addition of children to one parent’s household through remarriage.
As with all court decisions affecting children in the family law context, the best interest of the child governs the outcome. Changes that may warrant a supplemental petition for modification of child support include the following. Contact our family law attorneys to schedule a consultation to discuss your case for modification of support.
- Change in employment or in income for either parent
- Change in a parent’s health that will increase expenses
- Change that affects the parent’s ability to contribute support
- The availability of health insurance to the child
- Change in childcare costs
- Change in the child’s medical expenses
- The emancipation of a child
Who Grants The Petition For Child Support Modification?
A court’s decision regarding whether to grant a petition for a child support modification is very specifically guided by the Florida Statute and case law. Any petition must be tailored to the standards in the law or it may not succeed. Furthermore, evidence must be presented that is sufficient to support the finding of a substantial change. It may even be necessary to dig more deeply into the causes of one parent’s unemployment in order to successfully contest the demand for more support.
Our divorce attorneys in Gainesville, FL, can help you obtain the support order modification you and your child are entitled to under the law, as well as assist you in opposing one that you believe is not warranted.