Florida parents who are bound by an existing child support order may find that a change in their circumstances may require that the order be modified. To receive more child support, or to be able to pay less child support, parents can either come to an agreement on their own or have a judge to decide.
Parents should be proactive if they are unable to afford to pay the child support that has been ordered. They will continue to owe any delinquent amounts and will not be able to use bankruptcy to have the debt erased. When circumstances change, or there is a strong indication that they will, parents should immediately do what is necessary to obtain an order modification.
Parents should be aware of what is considered by law to be a significant change in circumstances that substantiates changing a child custody order. It may be wise to seek the counsel of an attorney who has experience with these matters. Before bringing the matter before a judge, both parties should try work out an agreement between themselves as litigation can have steep financial and emotional costs. Parents may try to use other methods of coming to an agreement, like mediation. Parents should also keep records that verify their change in circumstances.
A child support attorney may advise parents of their legal options regarding modifications to existing child support orders. The attorney may seek to obtain increased payments due to medical needs, extracurricular activities or cost of living increases. The attorney may also request enforcement measures for delinquent support.