How to Facilitate the Child Support Modification Process
When parents separate, most try to create child support and time sharing agreements that will work on a long-term basis. It is not always possible, however, to plan for the future, especially when it comes to raising children. For this reason, many parents find themselves having to modify existing parenting plans and child support agreements sooner than they anticipated. When it comes to child support, a parent who has experienced a significant change in circumstances will need to seek an official court ordered modification.
Modifying a child support award can, however, be complicated, so we’ve included a few tips that can help facilitate this type of legal action. For help with your own specific child support-related questions, please reach out to an experienced Florida child support modifications lawyer who can evaluate your case and advise you accordingly.
Communication Between Co-Parents
Modifying a child support order can be complicated, but tends to be a much simpler process when the co-parents involved are willing to communicate with each other in an out-of-court setting. Although parents who come up with an informal arrangement to modify a child support plan must still seek approval from the court before the changes will go into effect, speaking beforehand can help avoid tension and time-consuming legal proceedings.
There are serious consequences for failing to abide by the terms of a child support order. Parents who routinely fail to pay child support, for instance, face contempt proceedings, the loss of their driving privileges, and even jail time. For this reason, parents who are unable to continue paying the same amount in child support should take action quickly to avoid the penalties that come with violating a court order.
Seeking a child support modification without first preparing isn’t usually a good idea. Instead, parents who are asking a court to officially change a child support agreement, should be sure to start collecting proof of their change in circumstances. If, for instance, a person experienced a change in household income, a job change, or was diagnosed with a medical condition, he or she should keep copies of related expenses, bills, pay stubs, and medical bills, all of which can be used to help prove that the petitioner has indeed experienced a substantial change in circumstances. Similarly, if a petitioner cannot pay child support because of a job loss or pay decrease, he or she should be sure to document all attempts to find new employment to back up the assertions made to the judge.
Do You Need Help Modifying a Child Support Award?
Even co-parents who agree to a change in a child support agreement must seek approval from the court before the modification will be considered official. To learn more about the process of filing a child support modification petition in Florida, please call experienced Fort Lauderdale child support modifications lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. for help. A member of our legal team will help you set up a free consultation, so don’t hesitate to call our office at 954-945-7591 today.