March 27, 2022

Modifying Child Support Orders: What You Need to Know

In Florida, child support orders may start for children when they are fairly young, and continue for years after their birth. A person’s life may change dramatically over the years; they might get a different job, earn promotions or raises, make less money if life changes such as injuries or other ailments prevent them from being able to work. When these changes occur, the child support order may no longer reflect the current life circumstances of the parents. Now, it’s important to note that these can only be changed in court.

The amount of child support paid may be too high or too low, depending on the circumstances. The child support order may be changed in these instances. However, not every change in the circumstances will result in a change in the child support order. Changes must be substantial and permanent in order to change the order.

So when can child support orders be changed? If you want to learn more about this, then we’ve got just the thing for you. Here’s a brief breakdown of what you need to know when it comes to modifying child support orders.

What Are the Requirements for Child Support Modifications?

If a substantial change in the circumstances results in a change of at least 15% of the child support order if the modification is requested within three years after the original order was made, or 10% of the child support order if the modification is requested after three years, it can be said that there has been a substantial change in the circumstances.

A substantial change in custody is a large, permanent change to an arrangement. These large shifts in living situations must be changes that will last longer than six months. Permanent changes to living arrangements generally need to be involuntary changes that occurred because of something that was out of a parent’s control, like a business downturn, or a significant raise for the other parent.

How Do You Make Child Support Modifications Official?

Parents can reach their own agreements on child support, but anyone can ask the court to change the order. The person who wants to change the amount needs to file a petition with the court and have a hearing where they present evidence. If one parent doesn’t follow this process, then the court will enforce the original order.

Most states have procedures for modifying child support orders. For example, to change your child support agreement you may need to fill out the proper forms and submit them to the court. If a judge agrees that the modification of the agreement is appropriate, the court will usually approve it based on your application alone, without a court hearing.

When parents can’t agree on a child support modification, they’ll have to appear in court to argue their case. A judge will listen to their arguments and decide whether a change in child support will be granted. This means more time and money wasted on court fees and legal expenses.


We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you better understand the process of changing child support orders. While this process may seem daunting, it’s not something that you won’t be able to do as long as you’ve got good foundational knowledge on the subject. If you need more help with this, we suggest working with a legal professional.

We understand if this is a little too complicated to handle on your own. Luckily, there is something you can do to make handling this process infinitely easier. If you need the advice and services of Jacksonville attorneys specializing in family law, contact Dorsey Law JAX.


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