Can My Child Support Payments Be Adjusted If I Lose My Job?

Life is not always predictable, and neither are child support payments. Child support payments are payments ordered by the court for the benefit of the child. The noncustodial parent will usually pay the custodial parent of the children a certain amount of money each month to provide for the needs of the children. Child Support is always an obligation, but what happens if your ability to pay changes? If you lose your job or go through another significant financial change, may you get the court to modify your child support payments?

Child support payment amounts are different for everyone and can be determined by evaluating several factors which contribute to how much should be paid by the parent. Under Florida Statute 61.30, some of the factors to determine the amount include the needs of the children, the standard of living of the children, station in life, and of course the financial ability of each parent.

Modification of child support must stem from a substantial change in the circumstances of the payor. Keep in mind that a substantial change in circumstances may also arise from an increase in salary, a change in the child’s needs, or other factors. But in this instance, the loss of employment for many would be a significant change of circumstances and would be a financial burden on the payor. It may become extremely difficult to pay child support on top of other necessary expenses.

The income of the payor is a combination of several components. According to Florida Statute 61.30, some of these components include salary, bonuses, disability benefits, tips, workers’ compensation benefits and settlements, reemployment assistance, pension, retirement, or annuity payments, social security benefits, and more. As you can see, this is a very extensive list. With that being said, the circumstances regarding the unemployment of the payor plays a role in the determination of child support modification.

Florida Statute 61.30 further states that factors to modify the child support payment include being able to show extraordinary expenses, such as medical or educational expenses, seasonal variations on income, the age of the children, or any other adjustment needed to reach an equitable result.

Per Florida Statute 61.14, if you are unemployed or underemployed, the court may order you to seek employment, participate in job placement, or other similar programs. The court may decide to modify your child support while you look for employment. There are several factors that go into whether child support may be modified as seen above. The first step to take if you find yourself in this situation would be to speak to a Florida Family attorney to evaluate whether you qualify for a modification of child support before moving forward with filing a modification for child support.

We understand that modifying your child support obligations can be a complicated process. Child support payments are an obligation and cannot be altered or stopped without first receiving approval from a court. If you have recently undergone a change in circumstances that has affected your ability to make or keep up with your child support payments, contact a Florida Family law attorney. The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm has a team of experienced Family attorneys located in Coral Gables, Florida. As attorneys who focus on Family law, we understand how important it is to you as a parent to provide for your child. Our attorneys have helped clients in all types of circumstances with child support modification matters. We serve the entire state of Florida, so call us at 305-677-5119 or email us at info@flpfl.com.

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