Two Decades Of Florida Family Law Experience

Modifying and enforcing support orders in Florida

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2023 | Family Law

Divorce settlements in Florida and around the country often include spousal and child support provisions, but the amount that must be paid each month can be modified if the financial situation of either party changes significantly. To obtain a support modification, the party seeking the change must file paperwork at a circuit court. When modifications are granted, they are applied retroactively to the date of the initial application.

Supportive relationships

Alimony is awarded to prevent to help divorced spouses cope financially and prevent them from becoming a burden on the state. The amount of support may be terminated or reduced if the obligee shares a residence with a person with whom they have a supportive relationship. When determining whether or not a relationship is supportive, the court considers the length of the relationship, whether or not the couple pools their assets and whether or not they behave like a married couple.

Child support enforcement

Noncustodial parents who pay child support can apply for modifications if their financial situations change. Still, they should not stop making payments as this could lead to them being held in contempt of court. If a contempt hearing is held, the burden will be on the noncustodial parent to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that they cannot pay. Judges may also order the noncustodial parent to find work or take part in job training.

Legal consequences

Few people enjoy making support payments, but not doing so can have serious legal consequences. The law provides divorced spouses and noncustodial parents with ways to challenge support orders, and pursuing these options is far wiser than not paying. These matters are treated fairly by the courts, but judges have little sympathy for obligors who are in financial difficulty because they refuse to look for work.