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When can you change child support payment amounts?

A lot of Florida families don't realize that once a child custody and support arrangement is made it may not be set entirely in stone. If circumstances change significantly one or both parents can file for a change in the agreement, asking for increased or decreased time with the children and a corresponding adjustment to support payments.

One example of the different factors that may impact an adjustment in child support payments comes from the case of actor Jon Cryer, of Two and a Half Men fame. His custody and support arrangement recently made the news when his ex-wife filed for a significant increase in support payments.

In this case the mother says that she is entitled to an increase because her level of custody has increased from just four percent to a 50/50 co-parenting split. This is in fact one reason why a child support payment might be increased in a typical case, since having a child for a larger proportion of each month can give rise to increased costs for food, childcare, clothing, and other necessities.

In this case, the mother says that she needs additional funds to help keep her child afloat socially while he is with her, since her income can’t support the same lifestyle that he is used to and that his peers maintain. This is another potential grounds for increasing child support, since the point of the support is to help the child maintain a regular and consistent life among their two households. However, in this case the lifestyle of the child’s friends is rather extravagant and it will be a difficult argument to prove to the family law judge that additional support is necessary for luxuries like a vacation to Thailand.

Source: ABC News, “Jon Cryer’s Ex Wants Nearly $90K Per Month in Child Support,” Luchina Fisher, Oct. 19, 2013. 

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