Can child support obligations be terminated?

When parents in Florida face a financial crisis or problems with their former partner, they may wonder if they can terminate their child support obligations. In some cases, people may want to take action when an ex-spouse prevents visitation or interferes with the parent-child relationship. By withholding child support, they may hope to pressure their former partner to allow them time with the children. In other cases, people may simply be unable to fulfill their obligations due to disability, unemployment or other external factors.

However, it is generally very rare for child support to be terminated after being established. Family courts decouple child support and visitation, so refusing to pay child support is not an appropriate means of action when scheduled visitation or custody time is delayed or denied. Instead, parents who are being denied time with their children may consult with a family law attorney about going back to court. Family courts do not look favorably on attempts to undermine the parent-child relationship, and excluded parents may have a much better path toward contact with their children.

Financial problems can present their own concerns. When child support payments are established, they are based on a formula that is calculated through analysis of parental income. However, if parents become disabled or lose their job in another way, they may be unable to meet obligations tied to a much higher salary. In this case, simply cutting off payments is ineffective and may leave parents open to severe penalties. Instead, parents can go to court to seek a child support modification.

Many parents who care deeply for their children face financial problems or even severe conflicts with an ex-spouse. A family law attorney may help single or divorced parents to address problems with child support and visitation, including returning to family court.

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