Child Support Modifications In Tampa: Requesting Changes To An Existing Child Support Order
Parents have a legal duty to provide for their children. In cases of divorce or unmarried parents, child support is often one of the most hotly contested issues. Once a child support order is issued, the amount owed must be paid. Our Tampa child support lawyer explains when modifications may be in order.
Factors A Judge Considers When Issuing A Child Support Order In Tampa
Child support in Tampa may be ordered as part of a divorce or pending the outcome of paternity proceedings. There are strict guidelines for child support payments listed under the Florida Statutes, which judges generally follow. Some of the factors the court will consider include:
- Each parent’s total income and assets;
- The lifestyle the child would otherwise enjoy if the parents were together;
- The total amount needed to cover the child’s basic costs, including housing, food, clothing, medical care, and education;
- Any special needs the child has that require additional financial support.
Once a child support order is issued, the total amount owed must be paid. In order to either reduce or increase the amount of these payments, you must show a substantial, permanent, and involuntary change in your financial situation.
When To Request Child Support Modifications Through The Tampa Court
If you have been ordered to pay child support in Tampa, it is important to keep up with the amounts owed. Making late payments, not paying the total amount listed, or otherwise not complying with a child support order could subject you to serious enforcement actions through the Florida Department of Revenue. These include wage garnishment, property liens, seizure of bank accounts, tax refunds, or lottery winnings, and suspension of your professional or driver’s license. You could also face heavy fines and a potential jail sentence.
If you are having trouble making these payments, it is important to speak with our Tampa child support lawyer right away. We can advise you on your options, which may include requesting modifications in the amount owed. Child support modifications may be requested through the court in the following situations:
- You experience significant drops in earnings;
- You suffer health conditions that prevent you from working;
- Children previously provided for are now 18;
- You have other children who have special needs or otherwise require additional care.
Keep in mind that these changes must be substantial, permanent, and involuntary. Also, even if you are entitled to modifications, it does not change past-due amounts owed.
If you are receiving spousal support, you may be entitled to request modifications in similar circumstances. In some cases, you may also have your original order reviewed if it has not been revised or updated for more than three years.
Contact Our Tampa Child Support Lawyer To Request A Consultation
Child support payments can have major impacts on you, your child, and others in your life. To discuss your rights in requesting modifications, request a consultation with Bubley & Bubley, P.A. Call or contact our Tampa child support lawyer online today.