Child Support Modifications in Jacksonville, FL
How is child support calculated in Florida?
Under Florida law, both parents are obligated to financially support their minor child(ren). Depending on the couple's timesharing plan, however, the court may order one parent to make monthly payments to the other for the purposes of contributing to the financial support of their child. If the court had ordered a 70/30 joint custody arrangement, for example, they may also ask the parent with lesser custody obligations to make child support payments. The exact amount of these payments will be determined by an established formula—which takes the parents' net worth, health insurance premiums, daycare costs, etc. into consideration. The formula will also look at the number of over-night stays that the child will have with the "paying parent," as a modification would be necessary if the child spends more than 73 nights with them each year. Various other factors will also be taken into consideration, but these can be addressed when speaking with a Jacksonville divorce lawyer from Charles E. Willmott, P.A.
When could I request a child support modification?
Whether you are the parent who is paying or receiving child support, it is important to understand that a modification can be requested at any time. You would only need to prove that a significant, unanticipated and lasting change has taken place after the original order was issued by the court. So what exactly constitutes a "lasting change" under the law? Well, typically you must be able to show that the change has lasted, or is anticipated to last, at least one year or longer. The change could require either an increase or decrease in the amount of child support that is currently being paid, but it must warrant at least a 15% difference or $50 per month, depending on which amount is greater. It is also important to understand that proof of a significant change would not give one parent reason to stop paying child support. Even though they may intend to request a modification, they must uphold their financial obligations until the court order has been put into effect—if at all.
What would qualify as a significant, lasting & unanticipated change?
If you are interesting in modifying a current child support arrangement, you must be able to show that a significant, lasting and unanticipated change has taken place. While numerous "life changes" may fit under this broad definition, it is important to understand that the scope of this requirement is actually rather narrow. For this reason, I encourage you to take a look at some of the most common reasons that people request child support modifications in Florida:
- Increase / decrease in one parent's income
- Increase / decrease in daycare costs
- Increase / decrease in health insurance costs
- One parent becomes permanently disabled
- The child becomes legally emancipated
- One parent receives a large inheritance
- Increase / decrease in the cost of living
Will I need to retain the help of a qualified attorney?
Depending on the specific nature of your case, it may be difficult to successfully acquire a child support modification without the help of a divorce attorney. Since there are numerous factors that must be taken into consideration—whether you are currently paying or receiving child support—it is highly recommended that you discuss your case with the legal team at Charles E. Willmott, P.A. before moving forward. In doing so, you can ensure that you are adequately prepared for the process ahead. Just call my firm's Jacksonville divorce lawyers at (904) 849-5183.