This is the next post in my series on dealing with unpaid child support in Melbourne, Florida. My last article discussed holding a parent in contempt for the non-payment of support. Parents must remember that a failure to pay child support is not a “private matter” between two parties. It involves one parent not following a Court Order and the other parent’s enforcement of a right. The Judge will take such situations very seriously and a non-paying parent may face jail time. It is important that you retain an attorney as soon as possible regardless of which end of the situation you are on. In this article I will discuss the process of modifying support. If you require assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Florida parents may request a modification of child support
Florida sets child support based on the monthly income of the paying parent. The most common reason for adjusting support is a change in the paying parent’s income. Under state law, support may be modified if the paying parent’s income changes either by at least fifteen percent or fifty dollars. Either parent may request a change. This means that the receiving parent may request a change when the paying parent’s income goes up. Conversely, the paying parent may request a decrease if their income goes down. Other reasons for an increase or decrease in support can include a change in the paying parent’s monthly expenses, such as alimony, or if the child custody order is modified and the paying parent now has more or less time with the child.
The first step in modifying support is to file a Supplemental Petition with the Court. Along with the Petition, the requesting parent will have to submit their financial information. The Petition will state why support should be modified and the amount at which it should be set. The opposing parent will be permitted to file an Opposition. Reasons for opposing an increase in support can include arguing that any rise in income is temporary, or that the paying parent’s income has not actually increased. Reasons for opposing a decrease can include arguing that the paying parent is underemployed or that their income has not actually gone down. The Court will hold a hearing and issue a decision. If there is a dispute over the facts of the case, then the Judge may see the need to schedule an evidentiary hearing. It must be remembered that how the Court will handle a particular situation will always depend on the facts of the case.
Melbourne parents should request a child support modification as soon as possible
It is important that parents request a child support modification as soon as possible if their circumstances have changed. This is due to the fact that a Court Order stays in effect until it is modified. If, for example, a parent loses their job then they must continue to pay their current child support until the Judge modifies the Order. So, even though such a parent’s income has changed, they can still be held in contempt for not paying the ordered amount. By filing an immediate modification request, a parent can avoid such a situation.
If you are a parent who needs to modify their monthly obligation then contact my office today to speak with a Melbourne child support lawyer. I recognize that this is an important time in your life and my office will give your case the attention it deserves. We pride ourselves on providing quality service and we look forward to speaking with you. Contact us online or by telephone today. We also service clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.