Changing Child Support for Job Loss or Other Reasons

Florida parents who are paying or receiving child support might wonder if the amount can be changed. Under certain circumstances, either parent can request a modification to the child support order.

One common circumstance in which this is done is when the parent who is obligated to pay has a change in income. This could be from an unexpected job loss or a medical emergency. On the other hand, if the parent paying support starts making more money, the other parent might want to request an increase in child support payments.

Other situations that might result in a modification include the incarceration of a parent, a change in the child's needs, or the remarriage of a parent that leads to a significant increase in income. Child support modifications are not retroactive. Parents who are unable to continue paying at the same level should ask for a modification as soon as possible because until it is approved, they will legally be required to continue paying the same amount. A modification will similarly have no effect on any amounts that are in arrears.

The circumstances that lead to requiring a modification, such as a job loss, may be personally upsetting, and applying for support modification may not be the foremost thought for a parent. However, doing so is necessary, and a parent may want to work with an attorney when preparing the request. A parent who has already missed one or more payments might also want to speak with an attorney about the options. Failing to pay support can lead to a number of serious consequences. However, the other parent is not permitted to deny visitation as a consequence of such a failure, and a parent who finds themselves in this position may also want to discuss the situation with an attorney.