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How to Navigate Child Support After Losing a Job

Posted on December 2, 2020

The last few months have been tumultuous for our country.  The pandemic has sickened millions of people, rattled our economy, and changed the way of life we have been accustomed to — at least for now. 

Business closures and unemployment have climbed sharply throughout the country; and the South Florida landscape has been no different.

Did you lose your job? 

Has your income changed substantially?

Are you wondering how you can continue to pay the same child support without a job or with a lower salary?

The good news: 

Child support can be modified, as long as you have the support documentation to prove a “substantial change” in your circumstances.  Florida courts designate a “substantial change” as a minimum of 15% or $50 difference between the amount previously ordered for child support and the amount you seek.  Most child support petitions stem from changes in parental income or rising costs related to the child, such as medical care, childcare, or other special needs.  Substantial change can also stem from a child turning 18, or child emancipation.

The bad news: 

In most cases, Florida courts do not permit modification of child support in arrears (support owed from the past.)  Consequently, it is important to move forward with a supplemental petition if you need to modify child support amounts.

How is child support determined? 

The child support guideline worksheet uses a formula that considers several variables including parental income, time with each parent, medical insurance, childcare costs, and other relevant financial information.  Once completed, the worksheet calculates the estimated amount for child support.  You can access the worksheet here. 

Filing a Petition to Modify Child Support

Since the process will be effective on the date of filing and will not be paid in arrears, the parent seeking the modification should begin the process as soon as possible. 

Step 1:  Visit the Florida Courts website to obtain a copy of the “Petition to Modify Child Support” from Family Court.  Click here.

Step 2:  Complete the form to the best of your ability and attach copies of supporting documents including pay stubs, tax returns, or other relevant data.  Submit the form per instructions.

Step 3:  The courts will serve the other parent and set a date for a hearing.  At the hearing, the judge will hear the modification proposal and determine if it will be approved or not.  The court will hear the case and determine the outcome of the petition based on what is in the best interest of the child.

If you are ready to request child support agreement modification, we can help guide you through the key questions to determine how to proceed.  Our compassionate attorneys provide private complementary consultations.  For more information, contact us at Troy Legal, (888) 879-7578. 

Troy Legal, P.A. was founded in 2009 and serves clients throughout South Florida. Troy Legal, P.A., specializes in Marital and Family Law, providing reputable legal services for prenuptial and co-habitation agreements, paternity cases, adoption matters, alimony and child support, time sharing and parenting plans, drafting of qualified domestic relations orders (qdros), mediation services, equitable distributions, collaborative law, post-judgement modification and enforcement, domestic violence cases, and dissolution of marriage or divorce.  Troy Legal, P.is dedicated to serving clients through compassionate and aggressive representation, while upholding the highest degree of ethical standards.

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Troy Legal, P.A. was founded in 2009 and serves clients throughout South Florida. Troy Legal, P.A., is dedicated to serving clients through compassionate and aggressive representation, while upholding the highest degree of ethical standards.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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