Changing Child Support

An often-asked question is how often a child support agreement be revisited.  The Courts indicate this should be if there is a substantial change.  In reality it should be yearly. Last year there were substantial changes to tax laws.  This in itself dictates a look at any child support agreements.  Agreement made prior to January 1, 2018 should be looked at.  A $50 change in child support over 15 years equates to $9,000. In child support payments.

 

We provide a recalculation of child support based on your current situation on a no charge basis.  It is like a yearly visit to your doctor to make sure you are healthy.  If you find that a change is necessary, we will send you a quotation on the cost of this service.  In order to change child support there needs to be a substantial change.

Most people will think of money first.  But it does not need to be money.  Substantial change may also consist of a change in the overnight parenting pattern exercised by either parent.  Florida child support statutes allow a change anytime it would be at least 15% or $50.00 which every is greater.  Child support can be lowered or increased as long as you can show a substantial, permanent and unanticipated change in your circumstances. 

 

Another rule that applies to a change in child support is that the court that entered the initial child support order retains jurisdiction (in change of) to make any requested change.

Other facts you should be aware of are:

  1.  In cases where parents have joint custody child support payment are not required from either parent.   Not always true.  In most cases some form of child support will be awarded.

  2. Child Support is tax deductible.  Child support has no effect on income taxes.  The person who makes the payment cannot deduct it and the person receiving the payment does not report it.

  3. Child support stops at 18.  A child who is 18 with a reasonable expectation of graduating before their 19 birthday will continue to receive child support.  Children with disabilities that cannot support themselves may also receive child support for a much longer period of time than the age of 18.

  4. Once the child(ren) turn 18, back support can no longer be collected.  The receiving parent can collect unpaid support long after the child(ren) are grown and gone.

  5. Child support must be spent only on the children.  This is a common myth. There is no requirement the part of the parent receiving child support to detail how the money is spent.

  6. A payor quits their job in order to lower child support.  The courts are wise to this tactic.  Child support will be calculated based on past employment, skills or education.

  7. Child support is made final during the divorce proceedings.  Current income and expenses are used to determine child support.   The Future is unknown and child support can be recalculated any time there is a substantial change.

  8. If former spouse remarries I won’t have to pay child support.  Sorry the new spouse’s income or wealth has no bearing on child support payments.

  9.  Divorcing couples can pick the amount of child support they deem fair.  Not so.  Child support is determined by state statute.  Private agreements between the parents are not enforceable unless they are written, signed, filed in court and approved by the court.

  10. Litigation in order to obtain a change in child support can be costly.  The most effective way is an agreement voluntarily reached by the parties.  If this is not possible, mediation is a very effective way to reach an agreement with the use of a fair and impartial third party. 

 

To recalculate your child support, please click on the link below. There is no charge for this service.  We will send you an updated Child Support Guide Line. 

 

If you feel it is to your advantage to modify your child support, we will send you a cost to provide a new Parenting Plan and Documentation for a Modification of Child Support.

7495 W. Atlantic Ave Suite 292

Delray Beach, FL 33446

954-946-4774

The Divorce and Mediation Center

The Divorce & Mediation Center is not a law firm and cannot provide you with legal advice

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The Divorce & Mediation Center is "A" rated with the Florida Better Business Bureau.  This rating is unsolisited or paid for.