If you have a court order to pay or to receive child support, that order may have been entered years ago, or maybe recently, but you may think the number that’s being paid is out of line. It is estimated that one in four people pay too much child support and the same number one in four, actually pay too little child support.
Now, in order to change child support, which is one of the few things that you can change after a divorce is finalized, you have to look for what’s called a substantial change in circumstances. The circumstances revolve around the factors that go into the actual child support calculation. For example, one of the parents maybe has a significant increase in their income or a significant decrease in their income. If that’s the case, that may justify a court action to modify or change the child support obligation. Other things you may find that contribute to the need to change the child support obligation would be a change in the parenting time. If one parent has significantly more overnight visits with the children, hence providing real time support with the with the kids, that can factor in and justify a change in the child support number. Also, if there’s been a change or an elimination of daycare expenses or health insurance for the kids, that may also warrant the changing of your Florida child support obligation.
What we suggest you do is, do a calculation or a recalculation of your child support. That is, take your current circumstance, the current income for both parties, the current overnights, as well as the current daycare and health insurance expenses for the kids and run them through the calculator to determine what the appropriate current child support should be and compare that to the ordered amount. We’ve made it convenient for you. Below we have a link to a Florida child support calculator that we’ve developed, you can put your actual numbers in and see how the child Support plays out. Florida statutes provide that if the number currently is at least 15% different from the prior number or $50.00, whichever is greater, then that signifies that there has been a substantial change in circumstances and you will very likely be entitled to modify the child support, whether it’s up or it’s down.
Run your numbers through the calculator below, see what you should be paying and if it pans out and it warrants, you should probably file an action to modify your child support. It is a formal court case, a formal action. It can be done without the assistance of an attorney, although it is somewhat complicated. But, if you decide to go with an attorney, be sure that you hire someone who is experienced and qualified in these areas to assist you through this matter. Now you have the alternative, if you run the numbers and you speak to the other parent and they agree, you can enter into an agreement to modify. You still will need a court action to solidify that, to change the prior court order, but that court action would be much less expensive and much smoother if you’re able to reach an agreement. Our experience is that it’s usually unlikely because somebody would end up paying more or receiving less, and that person is usually not happy to agree to that. Nevertheless, a court action is required to modify your child support obligation.