Reasons to Modify Child Support in Florida


Without a formal child support modification, a parent who makes child support payments in Florida must continue to do so until the child comes of age. If either parent has a reason to request a change to an existing child support order, that parent must follow a specific process in which to do so.

Our Tampa child support lawyers can provide more assistance on this.

What are the Reasons to Modify Child Support in Florida?

How is child support determined in Florida, and how can the amount be changed?

Your child changes every day. They may have recently entered school. They may have different needs for healthcare than they did a year ago. You may have moved to a new home, changing your daily life in the process. Thankfully, your child support agreement can change to reflect their life as it is today. Why might a child support order need to be changed?

Under Florida custody law, parents can request a modification if they experience a “substantial change in circumstances.” These substantial changes can include:

  • One parent loses a job
  • One parent experiences a significant decrease in income
  • One parent’s income increases
  • Changes in children’s childcare or schooling expenses
  • Changes in the child’s health needs
  • A change of residence
  • The paying parent has a new child and increased support responsibilities

While there are many reasons why a judge will change custody or child support payments, not every change in your life qualifies for a modification. To lead to a change in your support agreement, your new circumstances must account for a 15 percent or $50 change in monthly support payments. The passage of time can also cause a modification of your child support order. The Florida Department of Revenue reviews child support orders every three years. In these cases, they may grant a modification at a smaller change of support payments, amounting to $25 or 10 percent.

While your child’s needs may have been very different when you created your child support agreement, modification allows you to support them as they grow and change throughout their lives.

How to Qualify for a Florida Child Support Order Modification

To qualify for a child support order modification, there first needs to be at least six months remaining on the current child support order. Second, it has to have been at least three years since the order either first took effect or last underwent modification. Third, there must have been a notable change in circumstances that merits such a change. The change in circumstances might involve the child’s needs, or it may involve one parent losing a job or receiving a demotion, among other possible examples.

Requesting a Child Support Order Modification

The parent wanting to change the child support order must first ask the court or agency that issued it. When doing so, the parent must furnish documentation about his or her income and assets. The state then decides if a substantial, permanent, and involuntary change warrants the change to the existing child support order.

If the court or agency agrees that a change is necessary, it typically initiates proceedings for modifying child custody in Florida. If it decides not to change the order, it notifies both parents about the decision.

Contact Our Experienced, Dedicated Divorce & Family Law Lawyers Today

As a dedicated family law practice in the Tampa Bay area, we work one on one with our clients, resulting in representation that is characterized by genuine care and understanding. If you are dealing with divorce or other family law issues, please contact at 813-223-7739  to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced family and divorce attorneys.