You Can Petition to Modify Your Child Support Arrangement

October 28, 2018

If you’re having a difficult time making your child support payments or believe the payments you’re making are unfair for any reason, you do have the ability to work with your divorce lawyer in Miami, FL to petition to have that child support modified. But how do you do this?

First, you should attempt to work out a modification with your spouse. This isn’t always going to be a feasible strategy, especially if you and your ex are on particularly bad terms. But if there’s any shot of it working, you should try to get a modification done without having to go through the court system. If you work out an agreement, you can simply ask a judge to approve the change. Unless the agreed-upon amount is significantly below the guidelines for Florida, you shouldn’t have a problem getting the judge to sign off on it.

However, if you and your ex are unable to agree on modifications to the child support arrangement, you’ll need to file a petition in court to modify your support. To be successful, you will need to be able to show that your life circumstances have changed in some way since the order was first implemented, and that those changes have influenced your financial situation.

Courts might make either a permanent or temporary modification, depending on the nature of those changes. Some of the changes that could lead a court to offer temporary modifications include:

  • A medical emergency for you or one of your children
  • A temporary inability to pay for the child support due to illness or other financial burden
  • Temporary financial hardship of any type

Courts may choose to grant permanent modifications to child support arrangements if any of the following circumstances apply:

  • Either parent changes to a new job with vastly different income, or loses their current job
  • Either parent suffers an accident or experiences an illness that leaves them disabled
  • The needs of the child significantly change

If the court does award a permanent modification, that modification will stay in effect until you are no longer legally required to provide child support or until the order gets modified later because your life circumstances changed once again.

Ultimately, if you find yourself unable to make your child support payments for any reason and believe a modification of the support order could be of help to you, it’s important to take action as quickly as possible so you don’t put yourself into financial turmoil. Keep in mind that bankruptcy is not an option to help you in your child support situation—child support debts cannot be discharged in any form of bankruptcy, and cannot be retroactively reduced.

For more information about the process of changing your child support arrangements, contact the Law Offices of Granoff & Kessler today to speak with a divorce lawyer in Miami, FL.

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