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When Can You Seek Child Support Modification?

child_support_modificationChild support payments can take a bite out of your monthly income and it can be difficult to make those payments on-time. Unfortunately, child support payments need to be taken seriously and paid promptly, just like you would pay your mortgage, rent, or utility bills. In fact, even if you were to file for bankruptcy, child support payments cannot be discharged and your obligation to pay them would remain the same.

There are some situations, however, when a parent may be able to petition the courts for a child support modification. These situations can range from temporary lifestyle hardships to more permanent changes. If you believe that you may qualify for a modification of your existing child support agreement, it is important to speak to an experienced West Palm Beach child support attorney promptly.

Reasons to Request a Child Support Modification

The courts typically do not consider child support modification unless there is a substantial change in the paying parent’s income or unless there is a substantial change in the child’s need for assistance. Some of the most common reasons why parents seek child support modification include:

  • Loss of job
  • Significant decrease in salary
  • Increase in financial responsibilities for children
  • Increase of familiar responsibilities
  • Large inheritance
  • Substantial increase in income
  • Non-custodial parent may remarry or have more children

The courts may decide to grant either a permanent or temporary child support modification. A temporary modification may be granted for something that the courts determine is a temporary hardship, such as the loss of a job. If the life change is more permanent, such as a physical disability or special needs, the courts may grant a permanent child support modification. It is important to know that substantial changes in your lifestyle must have come through no fault of your own. In other words, you cannot petition the court to pay less child support if you voluntarily quit your job and are unemployed by choice.

How to Make Your Child Support Modification Official

It isn’t enough to simply agree to a modification. In order to begin obtaining more child support or to begin paying less in child support, you must go to court and ask a judge to approve the new agreement. A verbal agreement between two parents is not sufficient, a court must approve of the new changes before they can be legally enforced. Before petitioning the court, it is important for you and your ex to discuss the new agreement and arrive at one that suits both parties. If parents can’t agree, they will have to argue their cases in court and have the judge determine whether or not to grant the child support modification.

Contact Our Lawyers Today

If you have questions regarding your child custody arrangement or wish to modify your existing child support agreement, we can help. Our compassionate Miami child support lawyers know that circumstances change and that sometimes child support agreements need to change with it. We can answer all your questions regarding child support and help you seek a modification.

Contact Maritza Estevez-Pazos of the Estevez-Pazos Law Firm at (305) 697-3991, or fill out our contact form for a free initial consultation and review of your case. We can help you through all of life’s ups and downs and protect your future every step of the way.

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The Estevez-Pazos Law Firm, P.A.

135 San Lorenzo Avenue, Suite 650
Coral Gables, Florida 33146
Fax: 305-234-7028
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