Your income level and that of your child’s other parent may change over time, and so, too, might your child’s financial needs. When these circumstances arise, you may decide to seek a modification of your existing Florida child support order. You have the right to request a review of your order regardless of whether you are the parent paying or receiving support. Your chances of having your order undergo modification depend largely on your reasoning for requesting it.
According to the Florida Department of Revenue, many child support arrangements undergo modification because there has been a substantial change in circumstances. What might this mean, and what are some examples that may warrant a child support modification?
Understanding what constitutes a change in circumstances
Often, one parent seeks to change an existing child support arrangement because his or her income has changed. If the paying parent lost his or her job, or conversely, became responsible for other dependent children since the order took effect, such circumstances may constitute a change in circumstances.
In most cases, the change in circumstances has to be substantial, permanent and involuntary in nature. In determining whether a change is substantial, the state considers whether the change would impact the amount of support paid by at least 15% and not less than $50 if the order took effect within the past three years. If the order is at least three years old, the change in circumstances would have to change the order amount by at least 10%, but not less than $25.
Keep in mind that until the state formally changes, vacates or terminates your existing child support order, the amount dictated by it remains due in full.