Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Child Support Redo?

Back to School Tip #2. The beginning of the school year is another good time to reevaluate your child support arrangement. The Florida Statutes are very explicit when it comes to child support modification. Unfortunately, just because your child may be incurring more expenses now that he/she is enrolled in more school activities or is now maybe a teenage driver, does not automatically mean child support needs to be increased. Key word being "automatic".
Per Florida Statute section 61.30, a party may seek modification of a child support order if there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.” The substantial change between the existing monthly obligation and the current guideline amount must be a difference of 15% or $50.00, whichever is greater. What exactly is a "substantial change in circumstances" you may ask? Well, according to section 61.30(1)(a), relevant factors that a court may consider include "the needs of the child or children, age, station in life, standard of living, and the financial status and ability of each parent."
In a nutshell, this means nothing is a given in family law. However, if you believe your change in circumstances is substantial (ie. your child costs a lot MORE now than he/she did several years ago), then you may be a candidate for a child support modification. Modifications don't need to be battled out in court. A certified family mediator can easily work with both parents to make the necessary recalculations to child support.  Check out my new website for more information.

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