Are you looking to modify your child support payments? Filing a petition for modification of child support is generally the right course of action to take. Before any change may be made, a court must decide there has been a substantial change in circumstances. A child support modification in Florida may occur at any time when support payments are being made and you meet the statutory standard for change. This standard for demonstrating a substantial change in circumstances in Florida child support has occurred is rather modest. A substantial change in circumstances change means that if the Department of Revenue, or Department of Administrative Hearings (DOAH), or the family circuit court is to order a change in child support, that change has to be at least a certain amount of money to justify a deviation. According to the modification of Child Support Florida Statute, Florida Statute 61.30(b), “the difference between the existing monthly obligation [what you pay right now] and the amount provided for under the guidelines shall be at least 15 percent or $50, whichever amount is greater, before the court may find that the guidelines provide a substantial change in circumstances.” Call Jacobs Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with an Orlando Child Support Attorney to discuss your modification of child support, dial 407-335-8113. We can help you calculate and decide whether a modification is appropriate for you.
After you have filed a petition for child support modification Florida (a motion is not enough, you need a petition), there are many reasons a court may agree a substantial change in circumstances has occurred and order a modification of child support in Florida. A primary reason can be a parent’s refusal or failure to see their child. For example, in a recent decision, the Smith Court referred to the modification of Child Support Florida Statute and decided that: “A parent’s failure to regularly exercise the time-sharing schedule set forth in the parenting plan, a court-ordered time-sharing schedule, or a time-sharing arrangement exercised by agreement of the parties not caused by the other parent which resulted in the adjustment of the amount of child support pursuant to subparagraph (a)(10) or paragraph (b) shall be deemed a substantial change of circumstances for purposes of modifying the child support award.” Section 61.30(11)(c), Fla. Stat., and Smith v. Smith, 273 So. 3d 1168, 1169, (1st DCA 2019).
This language means that if a parent does not exercise overnight timesharing with their child(ren), and the other parent is not the reason for their absence, the Court has the authority to grant a petition for modification of child support Florida. The Court may also decide the substantial change in circumstances Florida child support standard has been statutorily met as a matter of law.
The Department of Revenue provides some helpful advice to payors (people paying child support) about what to do while your petition for child support modification Florida is pending. Until or unless a court order commanding you to pay child support is modified, terminated or vacated, you must continue making payments according to your court order. Paying a lower amount of child support could result in sanctions or penalties against you. Keep making your payments pursuant to the modification of Child Support Florida Statute. Asking for a credit and resolving any overpayment later is better than being held in contempt. When you are ready to talk about your child support case, call 407-335-8113 and schedule time with Attorney Jacobs.