If you are considering or in the process of ending your marriage, then you know that there are several legal issues that you have to address. Unless you are fortunate enough to end your marriage on amicable and cooperative terms, then a number of these issues can become quite contentious. Amongst them is child support. This financial obligation is meant to ensure that children and their custodial parents have the financial resources needed following a divorce, but it sometimes is either insufficient for the custodial parent or overly burdensome for the noncustodial parent. This is when child support modification may be warranted.
Under Florida law, a child support order can be modified if a parent can show substantial life changes. Usually this involves a noncustodial parent losing his or her job or seeing a decrease in wages. In these circumstances, a court may decrease the amount owed under a child support order so that it is more manageable for the noncustodial parent. This, in turn, may prevent arrearages from building up and deterring the noncustodial parent from making any payments at all. A modification may be warranted under other conditions as well, such as when a child’s financial needs become greater because he or she becomes ill or disabled.
Although changes to weekly support amounts are the most common reasons for seeking a modification, there may be other changes that are justified. For example, a child may be removed from an order or the length of time the obligation remains in effect may be extended. Medical expenses not covered by insurance can also be addressed through a child support order. Each case is unique, meaning that parents need to do everything they can to make sure their and their child’s financial interests are as secure as possible given the facts at hand.
Oftentimes this means working with an attorney who is well-versed in child support laws and legal arguments. Such an attorney will know how to negotiate in hopes of reaching a fair resolution to these matters, as well as aggressively present arguments in court should the matter be left to a judge. In the end, with so much on the line, Floridians shouldn’t leave child support and child support modification to chance.