4 Situations Where You May Need to Modify Your Original Child Support Agreement

Child support agreements are designed based on the income of each parent at the time of the divorce, the time-sharing schedule, and contributions made by each party for child care, health insurance, and unreimbursed medical expenses. As time goes on, either parent’s life might change and the original agreement might not be feasible to follow. What happens when you need to make changes to the order and what kinds of situations provide enough evidence to do so? To file a modification in Florida, there must be a  “substantial change in circumstances”. Here are a few examples of what may be grounds for a modification:

Changes in Medical Needs

In some situations, child support agreements can stipulate that any medical expense incurred by a child is paid for equally by both parents or by their respective shares according to the child support guidelines. Others might arrange for their children to be on one parent’s insurance plan and this coverage handles the bulk of the expenses. However, if your child becomes seriously ill and begins to accrue long-term medical bills, you can request that your original child support agreement is modified to relieve the financial burden.

Child Care Expenses Increase

In the state of Florida, the cost of child care is factored into the overall child support order. If either parent experiences a change in their work schedule, whether it’s more hours per week or a different shift that they must work, and more child care is needed, the order can be adjusted. Since child care is a significant expense and could create financial hardship, the state allows for these fluctuations to be addressed when modifying an agreement.

Visitation Schedules Change

There are specific mandates in Florida that account for changes when parental time with their children change. Specifically, when the nonprimary residential parent spends more than 20% of their time with their children, the court can reduce their monetary requirement to account for this increased amount of visitation. Keep in mind that the visitation schedule must be agreed upon by both parents and shouldn’t be modified just to lower financial obligation.

Fluctuation in Income

This is probably the most common reason for requesting a change to your child support agreement. If a parent’s income either goes up or down, they will be required to modify their court order. Florida stipulates that any change that amounts to a difference of $50 per month or 15% higher or lower than their original income will be adequate grounds for a modification.

Have there been changes in your life that require you to modify your original child support agreement? If so, let Annette Sanchez Law help guide you through these changes so that everyone benefits.

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