This is the next post in my series discussing how the Brevard County Courts deal with a parent who has stopped paying child support or who is significantly behind. My last post discussed why a parent should inform the other that child support will be late. In this post I will be explaining why a Melbourne parent should ask the Court for a modification to the child support order if their finances have worsened since the order was first made.
Child support is set based on a parent’s income at the time the payment amount is being set. It is understandable that a parent’s income may go up or down over the course of a child’s life. If a parent’s income increases or decreases by a significant amount then either parent may ask for a modification to the child support payment. A parent may also ask for a modification if another factor that affects the child support calculation has changed. An example of this would be if the paying parent has another dependent child, acquires an adult dependent to care for, acquires union fees, etc. In either of these events the Court may be willing to recalculate child support so that the amount is something that the parent can afford to pay.
If you are a parent who is ordered to pay child support and your finances have significantly changed then it is extremely important to formally file a modification request with the Court as soon as you are aware you can no longer meet your financial obligations. Until the request is granted a parent is still obligated to pay the existing child support amount. If the parent struggles to pay the amount, is late, or gets behind, then they will be required to repay the full amount and may also have to pay additional fees and interest. Many parents attempt to pay an amount that is unreasonable once their income is reduced, and by doing so, not only inconvenience the parent relying on the money, but dig themselves into a hole that is hard to climb out of.
I am a Melbourne child support attorney who routinely assists parents in understanding when it is time to ask the court for a modification to the child payment order. My office will help you calculate what your new payment will likely be and get your request filed swiftly so you can begin to make payments that are manageable. If you have experienced a reduction in income, do not wait until you are in a financial hole to ask the Court for help. Contact my office today to speak with a lawyer. My office also services clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.