COVID-19 Job Losses and Modifications of Child Support

Our families are facing unprecedented impacts from COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Parents are being furloughed, having their hours cut, and their child-care plans disrupted. For those parents with support orders and agreements, action may be needed to guarantee security and fairness for all children and parents.

First, it is important to know that Florida Law provides grounds for a modification whether you are the net payor or recipient of child support. Here are some grounds for child support modification due to unforeseen changes in circumstances: loss of job or reduction in income, loss of health insurance or changes in cost, changes in child care costs, large increases in health care costs, changes in time-sharing behaviors, and any other increase in cost related to a needs of the child(ren).

Whatever the changes may be, they must be large enough to cause a difference in child support owed between the parties under the Florida child support guidelines. Typically, the change in circumstances must create a difference in the existing monthly obligation of at least 15% or $50, whichever is greater.

Florida Statutes, Section 61.30 (1)(b) states as follows: “The guidelines may provide the basis for proving a substantial change in circumstances upon which a modification of an existing order may be granted. However, the difference between the existing monthly obligation and the amount provided for under the guidelines shall be at least 15 percent or $50, whichever amount is greater, before the court may find that the guidelines provide a substantial change in circumstances.”

If you need advice with your particular situation, please call us for a consultation.

During this pandemic, we are offering free video and telephonic consultations. Call our office today at 850-818-0236. We also have offices located in Pensacola, Fort Walton, Navarre and Orlando for your convenience.

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