Prompting Factors for Child Support Modifications
Child support payments are a key part of many Florida household budgets, and in some situations the child support amount set when a divorce is finalized is the appropriate amount for years, but in other situations the amount needs to be adjusted as the parents income changes and evolves as careers progress with the constantly changes life throws at us all.
If you find yourself in a situation where the child support arrangement you are in no reflects either your or the other parents income, you may need to seek an adjustment. In states across the US, including Florida, child support modifications can be made when there is proof that a support change is warranted by changes in income. To learn about your options, talk to a Port St. Lucie family law attorney.
Substantial Change in Circumstances and Parenting Time Shifts
Child support modifications are possible for a range of reasons, often the effort to change the amount is due to a large increase or decrease in either of the parent’s income, because the special needs of the children have shifted, or there is a change in the timesharing/custody arrangement.
When income changes lead to the need for a support modification analysis, all income forms will be reviewed. This will include the employment, self-employment, investments, and other income sources of both parents. It is common for parents who have lost a job or experienced an income reduction or increase to find themselves in a situation where a child support order will change so that the amount remains fair and feasible.
Additionally, there could be child expenses that were not present at the time that a divorce agreement was drafted. For example, there may be unexpected medical expenses for a child that has a direct impact on a custodial parent’s budget. As a result, the custodial parent who is facing high healthcare costs could have a valid reason for seeking a modification
And of course, if the parenting time schedule is no longer what it was, the financial responsibilities of each parent may shake up, too. So if the parent who was only spending every other weekend with their child has taken on more parenting time or has become the custodial parent, they will likely no longer be responsible for making payments. Or the amount that they are required to pay will be significantly reduced.
Taking the Appropriate Legal Steps
Consult a Port St. Lucie family law attorney to talk through the factors you believe should lead to a modification. Don’t rely on informal agreements between you and your ex-partner because these handshake agreements are not legally enforceable, and failing to go through the proper channels could complicate your life later.
Should you seek a support modification? When considering a child support modification, seek legal advice to ensure that your modification process is conducted properly. The legal team at Baginski, Brandt & Brandt can help you navigate child support modification complexities and will work to connect you with a fair financial arrangement that will guide your children into adulthood. Contact us today to schedule your fee-free appointment.