How to Pursue a Child Support Increase
Many Florida families rely on child support payments. Which makes sense, because the funds provided through support payments play a crucial role in supplying financial resources to ensure the well-being of children after divorce or separation. But life circumstances change over time, so the initial support order may no longer adequately meet the needs of the child or the amount supplied may no longer be representative of the current financial situations of both parents.
If you believe that a child support increase is necessary, either because of financial shifts or because more financial support is needed to provide for your child, pursue an adjustment with the help of a Tampa family law attorney.
Gathering Relevant Information and Determining Eligibility
Essentially, in the state of Florida and throughout the country, child support orders can be adjusted when there is a noticeable change. Examples of this include a significant increase in the paying parent’s income, a decrease in the receiving parent’s income, changes in the child’s needs or medical expenses, or a change in the custody or visitation arrangement.
One of the first steps to take before pursuing a child support increase due to income changes is to gather all relevant financial information related to both parents’ incomes. This will likely include pay stubs, tax returns, and other documentation that demonstrates income shifts since the original child support order was issued. If your ex-spouse does not want to supply this information, legal steps may need to be taken as up-to-date financial information will be critical in justifying a modification.
With the supporting information in place, you can file a petition for modification. Your lawyer will prepare the necessary paperwork for you and ensure all information is filed prosperity. Then, once the filing is complete, the court will schedule a hearing to review the case.
Pursuing an Adjustment Outside of Court
It is also important to note that many parents are able to reach an agreement outside of court. For instance, mediation is a less adversarial and more collaborative approach, where you and your ex-spouse can work through the issue of a child support payment adjustment. Going through the mediation process may result in a mutually acceptable agreement that serves the best interests of the child and is acceptable to both parents. A seasoned lawyer will advocate for your interests during mediation negotiations.
Whether you go through mediation or take your request to court, once a child support increase is drafted and approved, it will be the new rule to follow. A modified support order will outline the new child support amount, payment schedule, and any other pertinent details.
Securing a child support increase can be a complex legal process as it requires proper documentation, persuasive arguments, and an understanding of Florida’s child support laws, but an experienced Tampa family law attorney has the skills to navigate the process effectively.
What level of support do you need? Share your current child support amount and your reasons for believing you should be receiving a higher sum with the legal professionals at HD Law Partners. Call 813-964-7878.