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A change in needs is a need for change: A look at modifications

As you may already know, the amount indicated in a child support order is calculated after considering a number of financial factors ranging from both parents' incomes to the needs of the child. But times change, meaning what might have been an acceptable amount of child support before, may not cover a child's needs now.

Most people, when they hear the word 'modification', think of a noncustodial parent asking the court to lower their child support payment because they are no longer able to meet their obligation. However, modifications work both ways. Custodial parents can ask for more money, especially if the child needs additional support. Here's a look at Florida law.

Proving a need for modification

When petitioning the court for modification of an existing order, petitioners must be able to prove that there was a "substantial change in circumstances." For custodial parents, examples of a substantial change may include needing more money for school expenses or medical care. Once a change in circumstances has been established, the court will reconsider all of the financial factors used to draft the initial court order then determine whether a change is needed. (Florida Statutes 61.30)

Getting help modifying a child support order

Even though modifying a support order may seem like a straightforward process, there are a lot of complex laws at work that can easily leave a custodial parent feeling confused and overwhelmed. There is a lot at stake when requesting the modification of a support order. That's why a lot of custodial parents turn to a family law attorney proficient in modifications for help and guidance.

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