Parents who share custody and support of their children are legally obligated to follow the terms of the custody and child support orders given to them by the Florida courts. Generally, once the orders are set in place, both parents are bound by the terms. However, in certain circumstances, both child custody orders and child support orders can be modified through the court system; the process of modification allows for the orders to change based on the changing needs of the child.
In all family law cases where children are involved, the standard that the judge applies in decision-making is in the best interest of the child. As such, child custody orders can be modified through the court system when a modification is in the best interest of the child.
In Florida, child custody can be modified for the following reasons:
In Florida, as elsewhere, all minor children under the age of 18 are entitled to receive financial support from both parents. The payment of child support is mandatory and failure to provide support can have serious legal consequences.
Florida statutes dictate the amount of support that is payable, based on the amount of income of the payee parent and the number of children who will receive support. These statutory amounts can be adjusted somewhat—courts can increase or decrease the statutory amount by 5%—based on the consideration of additional factors, including but not limited to the age of the children, special needs or circumstances of the children, and the payee parent’s ability to pay the standard amount.
Because life circumstances and needs of children can change, child support orders can be modified. The original child support order must be formally modified through the courts to be enforceable. Child support modifications can be either temporary or permanent.
For a child support modification to be granted, you must show that there has been a significant change in circumstances that warrants an adjustment of the monthly amount. While there are many reasons to seek a child support modification, common examples include:
If you are interested in finding out more about how Makofka & Makofka can help you modify an existing custody or support order, contact us today at 904-355-2700 for your free initial consultation. From our Jacksonville office, we proudly provide a variety of family law services to the residents of Duval, St. Johns, Clay, and Nassau counties.