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Fort Myers Florida Family Law Legal Blog

When can people modify a child support order?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2022 | Child Support |

Child support orders in Florida can be first issued when children are fairly young and may be in place for many years afterwards. There may be many changes in people’s lives over the years. They may have different jobs, earn promotions and raises, they may lose jobs, suffer injuries or other ailments which prevent them from being able to work and other changes may arise as well. When these changes occur the child support order may no longer reflect the current circumstances of the parents.

The child support amount may be either too high or too low depending on the circumstances. In these situations, parents may be able to modify the child support order. However, not every change in the circumstances will result in a modification of a child support order. In order to be able to modify a child support order the change must be substantial, permanent and involuntary.

Requirements for child support modifications

A substantial change in the circumstances means that the new child support calculation must result in at least a 15% change in the child support order if the modification is requested withing three years of the original order or last modification. It means that there has been at least a 10% change in the child support order if it is after three years.

In addition to being a substantial change, it must also be a permanent and involuntary change. Permanent changes generally need to be a change that will last longer than six months. Involuntary changes mean that people had no control over the change. This could be being laid off due because of a downturn for the company, but could also include the other parent receiving significant raises.

Many parents in Florida have child support orders that may be in place for many years. Changes occur, both good and bad, and child support orders may need to be changed as a result. Before people start the modification process though it is important to understand whether they meet the requirements. Experienced attorneys understand when and how child support orders can be modified and may be able to guide one through the process.