When divorce decrees are made, they are meant to be permanent. However, it may be possible to modify a divorce decree with regard to child support if the financial or personal circumstances of the parties have changed. Successfully changing a Florida child support order requires careful preparation, and parents who are seeking a modification, whether it's a reduction or increase in payments, should have the help of a family law attorney throughout the process.
In Florida, the amount of child support is calculated based on the child's needs and both parents' income. A child support order can be modified if the requesting parent can show that a major change in circumstances has occurred. For example, a modification may be appropriate if a parent loses a job or gets a promotion.
In some cases, it is possible to extend the length of time child support should be paid. For example, an extension may be appropriate if the child turns 18 while still in high school. An upward modification may also be possible if the child to be supported suffers a disabling injury or illness.
Parents can request a modification to add or remove a child from a support order, or to add or remove medical support from the order.
If you plan to request a child support modification, then it is important that your attorney understands the original order and how your circumstances have changed since your divorce or separation. In many cases, modifications can be settled outside of court, though it is a good idea to have an attorney who is also prepared to litigate.