Florida readers know life is uncertain, and it continues to change long after your divorce is final. Whether you are the custodial parent or you make child support payments every month, there are times when it may be appropriate to seek an alteration to your child support order. This is a modification.
It is not always easy to get a modification, and there must be substantial evidence of a significant change in circumstances that necessitate the adjustment. While it is beneficial when both sides agree to a change, seeking a verbal agreement is not legally binding and could expose you to complications in the future.
Who can get a modification?
There are many reasons that could be valid grounds to seek a modification to a support order. Either the paying parent or the custodial parent has the right to seek these changes if they believe it is necessary for their current situation or would be in the best interests of the child. Consider the following facts about modifications:
- If you believe the terms of your original support order were unfair, you have the right to seek to change them to terms that are more appropriate.
- If you lost your job or experienced a significant decrease in your financial capabilities, you can seek to reduce your child support payments.
- The changes you are pursuing can be either on a temporary or permanent basis.
- If your child has new medical needs or you need more money to care for his or her current circumstances, you can petition to increase the amount of payments.
If you are no longer able to meet your financial obligations, you would be wise to seek a modification in a timely manner. Simply stopping payments or reducing the amount you pay could lead to issues and disputes with the other parent. In order to fully protect your interests, you would be wise to seek a modification through the proper legal channels.
Protecting yourself and your children
If you need to reduce the amount you pay in child support because you can no longer make payments in the original amount, it does not diminish your rights as a parent. Additionally, if you need more support, you have the right to seek it on behalf of your kids.
A complete evaluation of your case can help you understand your rights and your options regarding a potential modification to your original child support order.