If you have experienced a drop in earnings and there is not an expected rebound then you may have a case for petitioning to modify your child support.
The state’s first concern is for the child or children. They want to make sure there is enough money coming to where the child doesn’t suffer for lack of it. Naturally, the state takes any augmentation request of a child support agreement very seriously.
Conversely, a co-parent has a right to ask for more money from the former spouse if their own income drops. During these trying times of the Covid pandemic, people’s finances are all over the place. It is important that the needs of the child are met.
It is also important to remember that there are situations where a reduction in income is not valid for petitioning to modify child support. If a co-parent has voluntarily taken a job which pays less money for instance. This would not be a reason to reduce child support payment amounts. An effort must be shown that the co-parent sought an equal or higher paying job before taking the lower paying job.
If the amount of income changes because of a medical disability or diagnosis, the court may then modify the obligation. Any reduction in earnings that are outside of the co-parents control are good enough reason to petition for a modification of child support.
There are steps to take before the petition is filed. This includes gathering all of your income documentation. Take a look at Florida’s Child Support Benchbook. This will help you see what is required to modify any child support agreement.
Hiring an attorney to help with these matters can help your case greatly. An attorney will streamline the process and will double check your case before it is presented. After all, this is uncharted territory for many people.
The bottom line is simple: if you have experienced a significant reduction in income through no fault of your own and don’t see that changing in the near future, you probably have a good case for a modification of child support.