Modifying Florida Child Support

In Florida, the amount of child support that a parent is required to pay is based on the income of both the parents and the needs of the child or children. The court order will outline how much child support is due when it should be paid, and who will receive what support.

Child support agreements are very difficult to change. In Florida, in order to modify a child support order, the requesting parent must be able to show a substantial change in circumstances such that he or she needs to modify the terms of the current agreement. What is considered a "substantial change" which would allow a modification is left up to the court.

Attorney for Modification of Child Support in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you or someone you know has had a change in circumstances like job loss, income change, or perhaps, the needs of your child have changed, and you need a modification of your child support agreement, contact the attorneys at Bacchus & Navarro Law Group.

Our lawyers have handled family law child support issues for years and can advise you of the kinds of circumstances that have qualified for modifications in the past.

Our offices are centrally located at in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, just minutes from the Broward County Central Courthouse. If you have been arrested or are subject to investigative procedures in Miami, West Palm Beach, East Naples, or LaBelle, Florida, then contact our firm immediately.

Call (954) 500-5555 for a face-to-face consultation.


Overview of Modifying Florida Child Support in Broward County


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Modification of Child Support

Changing an existing child support order is difficult to do in Florida. The requesting party must be able to show a substantial change in circumstances to warrant a modification.  When establishing or changing a child support agreement, the court will consider all relevant factors including:

  • the needs of the child
  • the child's age
  • the child's station in life
  • the child's standard of living
  • the parent's financial status
  • the parent's ability to pay

These factors are also considered when establishing a modification. Circumstances that warrant a child support modification can vary depending on whether the petitioner wants to increase or decrease the amount of child support.

Factors for increasing child support may include the following:

  • receiving party's loss of a job
  • receiving party's loss of income
  • an increase in paying party's income
  • child expenses increase
  • subsequent children

Factors that may call for a decrease in child support can include:

  • paying party loss of job or income
  • receiving party's increase in income
  • childcare expenses decrease
  • a change in the child's residence

Subsequent children as a basis for modifying a child support agreement may only be raised in a proceeding for an upward modification of an existing award and may not be applied to decrease an award.

Every petition for child support modification must include an affidavit, which must show the party's income, allowable deductions, and net computed income.


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Not Sticking to the Parenting Plan

A parent's failure to adhere to the parties' agreed-upon parenting plan or time-sharing agreement that is not caused by the other parent and also resulted in an adjustment of the child support amount is automatically considered a "substantial change in circumstances" for purposes of modifying the child support award.


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Florida Child Support Payment Chart

The court may order a child support payment schedule based on the combined net income of each parent.  The child support schedule amount presumptively determines the amount the court will order in an initial proceeding for child support or in a modification of an existing support agreement. The Florida child support schedule, according to Fla. Stat. § 61.30 is as follows:

Monthly Net Income

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

800

190

211

213

216

218

220

850

202

257

259

262

265

268

900

213

302

305

309

312

315

950

224

347

351

355

359

363

1000

235

365

351

355

359

363

1050

246

382

443

448

453

458

1100

258

400

489

495

500

505

1150

269

417

522

541

547

553

1200

280

435

544

588

594

600

1250

290

451

565

634

641

648

1300

300

467

584

659

688

695

1350

310

482

603

681

735

743

1400

320

498

623

702

765

790

1450

330

513

642

724

789

838

1500

340

529

662

746

813

869

1550

350

544

681

768

836

895

1600

360

560

701

790

860

920

1650

370

575

720

812

884

945

1700

380

591

740

833

907

971

1750

390

606

759

855

931

996

1800

400

622

779

877

955

1022

1850

410

638

798

900

979

1048

1900

421

654

818

923

1004

1074

1950

431

670

839

946

1029

1101

2000

442

686

859

968

1054

1128

2050

452

702

879

991

1079

1154

2100

463

718

899

1014

1104

1181

2150

473

734

919

1037

1129

1207

2200

484

751

940

1060

1151

1234

2250

494

767

960

1082

1179

1261

2300

505

783

980

1105

1204

1287

2350

515

799

1000

1128

1229

1314

2400

526

815

1020

1151

1254

1340

2450

536

831

1041

1174

1279

1367

2500

547

847

1061

1196

1304

1394

2550

557

864

1081

1219

1329

1420

2600

568

880

1101

1242

1354

1447

2650

578

896

1121

1265

1379

1473

2700

588

912

1141

1287

1403

1500

2750

597

927

1160

1308

1426

1524

2800

607

941

1178

1328

1448

1549

2850

616

956

1197

1349

1471

1573

2900

644

971

1252

1412

1540

1647

2950

635

986

1234

1391

1517

1622

3000

644

1001

1252

1412

1540

1647

3050

654

1016

1271

1433

1563

1671

3100

663

1031

1289

1453

1586

1695

3150

673

1045

1308

1474

1608

1720

3200

682

1060

1327

1495

1631

1744

3250

691

1075

1345

1516

1654

1769

3300

701

1090

1364

1537

1677

1793

3350

710

1105

1382

1558

1700

1818

3400

720

1120

1401

1579

1723

1842

3450

729

1135

1419

1599

1745

1867

3500

738

1149

1438

1620

1768

1891

3550

748

1164

1456

1641

1791

1915

3600

757

1179

1475

1662

1814

1940

3650

767

1194

1493

1683

1837

1964

3700

776

1208

1503

1702

1857

1989

3750

784

1221

1520

1721

1878

2009

3800

793

1234

1536

1740

1899

2031

3850

802

1248

1553

1759

1920

2053

4000

828

1288

1603

1816

1982

2119

The Florida Statute outlines the required payments based on net monthly income and the number of children an individual has to care for up to a monthly income of $10,000.

If the paying individual's income is less than the amount specified in the guidelines, then the court will order the paying party to pay child support as determined on a case-by-case basis.


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What is a Substantial Change?

The Substantial Change test is a two-part test used to determine whether there has been a substantial change in one parent's circumstances to warrant a modification of child support or a time-sharing agreement.  A substantial change in circumstances is one that is "substantial, material, unanticipated at the time of the final judgment, and permanent in nature."

According to the Florida Supreme Court, the substantial change test includes the following:

  1. that there was a substantial and material change in circumstances, unforeseen at the time of the final judgment for child support or custody; and
  2. that the best interests of the child can still be promoted by the change in the custody agreement.

With this extraordinary burden, the petitioning parent must first show that there was an unforeseen change in circumstances. Once the court determines that such circumstances exist, then it must determine whether the suggested modification is in the best interest of the child.


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Additional Resources

Wade v. Hirsch –Visit the Florida Supreme Court for the full opinion concerning modification of a timesharing agreement and the application of the substantial change test. The "substantial change in circumstances" test is the premiere test for modifying many marital, post-marital, or child custody agreement under Florida law. 

Fla. Stat. § 61.30 –Visit the official website of the Florida Senate for the full Florida Statute on child support guidelines, retroactive child support and the full child support schedule.

Family Law Forms – Visit the official website of the Florida courts for the Family Law Forms used to request a modification of a timesharing or child support agreement under Florida law. 


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Find an Attorney for Modifying Child Support in Broward County, FL

If you or someone you know has experienced a substantial change in circumstances and requires a modification of their child support agreement, then call Bacchus & Navarro Law Group.

The experienced family law attorneys in our office will guide you through the steps necessary to modifying or terminate your child support agreement. Our lawyers are zealous and dedicated advocates who will fight to get you the best possible result.

We take cases throughout the Miami-metropolitan area in counties like Hendry County, Palm Beach County, Collier County, and Miami-Dade County, FL.

Our office is centrally located at in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, just minutes from the Broward County Central Courthouse. If you have been arrested in Miami, West Palm Beach, East Naples, or LaBelle, Florida, then contact our firm immediately.

Call (954) 500-5555 to schedule a no obligations consultation with our family law attorneys.

This article was last updated on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.


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