Noncustodial parents in Florida are required to pay child support to make sure that the needs of their children are met. Child support payments are determined by the incomes and childcare responsibilities of both parents, and they may be altered if these circumstances change significantly and the change is involuntary and likely to be permanent. If less than three years have passed since the child support order was issued, a change in circumstances is considered significant if it will lead to a monthly payment that is at least 15% higher or lower than the existing payment. If the order was issued more than three years ago, a significant change in circumstances will lead to a payment increase or decrease of at least 10%.
Requesting a child support modification in Florida
A custodial or noncustodial parent in Florida can request a child support modification by contacting the Florida Department of Revenue’s Child Support Program or filing a petition in the circuit court that issued the child support order. In addition to submitting the necessary forms, parents seeking modifications are required to provide financial documents like paystubs and bank statements. After receiving these documents, the Child Support Program notifies the other parent and reviews the information to determine whether or not the circumstances have changed significantly.
Child support modification hearings
Parents are given an opportunity to make arguments before child support orders are modified. These hearings take place in a courtroom if the child support order was issued by a judge or in an administrative office if the order was issued by the Child Support Program. During child support modification hearings, the burden of proof is placed on the parent who is seeking a change.
Voluntary and involuntary changes
Child support orders may be modified in Florida if the circumstances of either parent change significantly, but it has to be involuntary and likely permanent. If a parent seeking a modification quits their job, accepts a lower paying job or engages in criminal activity that leads to their incarceration, their change in circumstances will be considered voluntary and their request will be denied.