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Making Changes To Florida Child Support


Child support is a unique right in Florida, being one of the few that belongs exclusively to the child, instead of to the child’s parents. As a result, establishing a child support order is one of the most important items in divorce proceedings, so that the child or children of divorced parents do not have to experience a major drop in their standard of living. Because child support is an obligation for parents, it is not easy to seek a change in the arrangement – but Florida law does allow it, if certain criteria are established. Consulting an attorney before filing for adjustment may be a good idea.

A ‘Substantial Change In Circumstances’

Florida law holds that in most situations, the best interests of the child or children involved are paramount, simply because adults can generally advocate for themselves while children cannot. It is in the best interests of the child to receive a level of financial support that lets life continue at a similar standard to when their parents are married – but at the same time, Florida courts are not in the business of bankrupting parents. Generally, if a parent can establish a “substantial change in circumstances,” their child support obligation can be modified.

That said, it is not easy to establish that a substantial change has actually occurred, and it is even hard to define what “substantial” might mean simply because divorce cases are highly contextual. Each is different, and what may be a substantial change to one person may be normal to another. The law holds that a change that is more than $50 or 15 percent will qualify as substantial, but a smaller amount may still qualify with sufficient proof.

Not Always For Financial Reasons

While income shifts are the most common reason that parents seek modification of their support obligations, there are others. The most often seen is when a parent seeks a change in parenting time or time sharing (custody) – as one might imagine, a parent’s support obligation may decrease if they are granted full custody of their child. Another situation where a support modification may be appropriate is if one parent gains or loses health insurance – the presence or absence of premiums to pay can make a difference.

Regardless of the reason, be advised that the other party (your former spouse) has the right to contest your motion for adjustment of your support obligation. Be aware of your own situation, as well as the situation of your child and co-parent, as there are multiple factors that a court will consider in making its ultimate determination. The interests of the child will generally come first.

Call A Hollywood, FL Child Support Attorney

Child support obligations are taken very seriously in Florida law, but parents must be in a position to meet them; if circumstances change, there is generally a way to balance the interests of both parties. If you have questions or concerns about your own child support obligations, a Hollywood, FL family attorney from the Law Offices of Steven A. Mason, P.A. can try to assist. Call our office today at (954) 963-5900 to speak to an attorney.



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The Law Offices of Steven A. Mason, P.A., is located in Hollywood, FL and serves clients in and around Dania, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, North Miami Beach, Pompano Beach, Miami, Pembroke Pines, Miami Beach, Deerfield Beach, Hallandale, Aventura, Boca Raton, Broward County, Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County.

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