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How and when you may modify a Florida child support order

When you pay or receive child support in Florida, situations may arise that warrant the state taking another look at your existing child support order. If you have a valid reason to request a review of your child support order after it has taken effect, you must follow a particular process to do so. Otherwise, the parent paying support has an ongoing obligation to do so.

According to the Florida Department of Revenue, you or your child’s other parent both have the option of asking the state’s Child Support Program to review your current child support order and decide if it warrants a change. You also have the option of filing a petition in circuit court if you wish to do so.

What might warrant a change

Typically, you or the parent asking for the child support order modification needs to have gone through a substantial, permanent and involuntary change to merit a change to the existing order. So, while a parent quitting his or her job does not fall under this umbrella, a parent experiencing a long-term layoff might. Similarly, if the paying parent now has more kids for whom he or she now must provide, this, too, may warrant a child support order change.

What outcomes you might face

If the court decides to move forward with modifying the child support order, it notifies you and the other parent about its decision. Parents have the right to request a hearing before the administrative order change takes effect if they wish to do so. If the court refuses the modification request, it also notifies both parents but takes no additional action.

If less than three years have passed since the child support order took effect, the paying parent may have to take extra steps to show how the change he or she experienced was substantial in nature.