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 » Modification of time-sharing and child support

Modification of time-sharing and child support

A change in a child or parent’s circumstances can cause a need for the time-sharing agreement or child support to be modified. A parent is advised to contact a family law attorney as soon as you are aware that this will happen in the future as it can take some time for a modification hearing to be scheduled. A judge can modify child support payments retroactive to the date the modification was filed.

As in many family law matters, the parents must reach an agreement on the modifications requested. If no agreement is negotiated, then each parent will argue his or her side of the case in court. The courts want to maintain the best interests of the child, so a parent must show why the modification is truly needed.

Some of the reasons for a change in time-sharing or child support include:

  • job loss
  • reduction in income
  • different schedule for parent’s job
  • change in number of overnights with the children
  • change in child support laws
  • special needs for the child such as health care and education
  • different schedule for child’s school or extracurricular activities

Evidence for this significant, permanent, and involuntary change must be shown to legally adjust the original child support or time-sharing orders. Modifications are made legally enforceable only after a judge approves the Supplemental Petition for Modification of Child Support or the Supplemental Petition for Modification of Time-Sharing Schedule.

Changes cannot be made by either party randomly, as lesser child support payments or changes to the time-sharing schedule could lead to serious repercussions not only with the Florida Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Program but with law enforcement personnel. Getting behind in child support, for example, can lead to the suspension of a driver’s license, property liens, and an arrest warrant to collect back pay. Parents are recommended to be proactive and review both orders every three years to plan for life changes that could occur. And in the event of a sudden change of circumstances, a qualified family law attorney is essential to uphold your rights as well as the child’s well-being.

Family law procedures may be subject to change and every county has different court procedures. Uncontested divorces can be finalized within 60 days for a flat fee.