Requesting An Increase In Child Support
It is not uncommon for divorced parents to find themselves in a different financial situation a few years (or even less) after the finalization of their divorce. One of the parties, for instance, may lose his or her job, or need to start paying for the treatment of a medical condition. These kinds of changes can be particularly stressful for a parent who receives child support. Fortunately, it is possible to ask the court for an increase in child support by submitting an official modification request, so if your expenses have changed or the child support payments you are receiving are no longer sufficient to cover the cost of your child’s needs, you should consider reaching out to an experienced Clearwater child support modification lawyer who can walk you through the process of submitting your request.
Changing Expenses or Income
Courts aren’t willing to modify a child support award for just any reason. Rather, a parent will need to provide evidence of a material change in circumstances. While a variety of life changes could satisfy this definition for the purposes of modifying child support, the most common involve a change in expenses, such as:
- A change in daycare expenses, as a result of a parent’s changing employment situation;
- Relocation to an area with higher state or city taxes; or
- An increase in the cost of health insurance premiums.
A change in income could also be enough to warrant a change in child support. For the receiving parent, this usually means that he or she has suffered a job loss or been demoted. However, the loss of either a temporary or defined-term award of spousal support, or the loss of another material source of income, could also fall under this category if it significantly impacted the recipient’s earnings. Finally, if the paying spouse obtains a higher paying job or is promoted, he or she could be required to pay a higher amount in child support every month.
Changing Parenting Time Schedule
Besides a change in income or childcare-related expenses, a change in a couple’s parenting time schedule could also justify a modification of an original child support award. If, for instance, the non-custodial parent’s number of overnight visits decreases, thereby increasing the number of days that the other parent has custody, the custodial parent could request additional funds for the child’s support.
If it has been less than three years since the original support order was issued, the petitioning parent will need to demonstrate that the modification, if approved, would result in a change in the order amount of at least 15 percent. If, on the other hand, it has been more than three years since the order was issued, the change need only amount to ten percent.
Call Our Clearwater Legal Team Today
To learn more about the process of changing a child support award in Florida, please call Cairns Law at 727-683-1472 and speak with one of our dedicated Clearwater child support modification lawyers today.