I Am Having Another Child: Can I Get a Reduction in My Child Support Payments?
Non custodial parents have an obligation to provide financial support to their children. As explained by the Florida Department of Revenue, state law establishes basic guidelines for calculating how much child support is owed. In large part, child support payments are based on the obligor’s ability to pay—or more specifically, their ‘net income’.
This raises an important question: Can you get your child support obligation reduced if you have another child? After all, your expenses are going to rise. The short answer is “maybe”—but it is certainly not guaranteed under the law. In this post, our Tampa child support lawyers explain the things parents should know about modifying support on the basis of having another kid.
There is No Automatic Right to Modify Child Support to Account for New Child
In Florida, an obligor (the parent paying child support) does not get to reduce their payments on the grounds that they had another child. Indeed, this is the most important thing you need to know about your child support obligations if you have another child: You are not automatically entitled to reduce your payments. No automatic adjustment is made and you cannot simply begin making lower payments. In order to get a reduction in child support, you may demonstrate a substantial and material change in circumstances that warrants such a change.
A New Child May Be a “Substantial Change” in Circumstances
Under Florida law, a child support order/agreement can be modified if there has been a major and material change in circumstances. In some cases, the birth of another child may help to prove that circumstances have changed to sufficient amounts to justify a reduction in child support obligation—this is especially true if the new child has unique medical or educational needs that will require higher than usual costs.
If you are having another child and you feel that your existing child support payments are simply too high to be financially sustainable for your family, it is time to call a family law attorney to discuss your eligibility for a child support modification. A lawyer will be able to assess your individual financial circumstances—how much you are paying in child support, your net income, and your future expenses—to determine if a child support reduction is justified. If you can reduce your payments, a child support lawyer will walk you through the modification process.
Call Our Hillsborough County, FL Child Support Attorneys for Immediate Assistance
At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., our top-rated family lawyers handle the complete range of child support cases. We know how to protect the rights and interests of parents in Florida. If you are seeking a child support modification, we can help. To arrange a completely confidential review of your case, please contact our legal team today. With an office location in Tampa, we serve clients all over Hillsborough County, including in Riverview, Town ‘n’ Country, Ruskin, Valrico, and Greater Carrollwood.