After you have gone through all the work of establishing a child support order, it’s understandable if you don’t want to deal with that bureaucracy again. However, it’s common for things to change in a parent’s life after an order is finalized, and these changes can make a child support order unworkable.
For instance, the loss of a job or another sudden change in financial circumstances can make it difficult or impossible for a paying parent to keep up with their payments. When they fall behind, the unpaid balance can quickly become a huge debt. The state of Florida has many ways to enforce child support orders, and can make life very difficult for parents who are delinquent on their payments.
If you are a parent who is struggling to keep up with your child support payments, it is essential to be familiar with how a child support order may be modified.
How to request a child support modification
If the circumstances of either of the child’s parents has changed since the child support order was entered, either parent may request a child support modification. A child support modification may be requested from the family law court or the relevant administrative agency.
When reviewing a request for a child support modification, the state reviews the financial information of both parents. If there is a substantial, permanent and involuntary change in circumstances, a modification may be granted. If there are other legal grounds to change the order, that may be reviewed as well. Whether or not the change is substantial can depend on how long it has been since the prior child support order was entered.
It is essential to remember that the existing child support order is enforceable until any change or modification is legally made.
Family law attorneys can help parents understand their options with child support orders. Whether you are a noncustodial parent who is looking to modify a child support order, or a custodial parent who needs to enforce one, it’s good to know your options.