What Factors Could Impact Post-Divorce Child Support Payments?
When a couple has children and later decides to dissolve their marriage, the finalization of that divorce also heralds the beginning of a variety of other processes related to establishing child support arrangements and time sharing schedules. Even when established, agreements regarding such issues can change after divorce, especially when it comes to child support payments, so if your divorce has been finalized, but you have questions about a child support agreement, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced Fort Lauderdale child support modification attorney who can address your concerns.
Calculating Child Support
In Florida, child support is determined using the Income Shares Model, under which parents are required to pay an amount that reflects:
- Both parent’s gross monthly incomes based on earnings and deductibles, as well as salaries, wages, bonuses, benefits, and passive revenue;
- The family’s expenses, including healthcare costs, daycare expenses, education costs, and housing expenses;
- The number of children being supported; and
- The amount of time that each parent has with the child per the custody arrangement.
When assessing these factors to make a child support determination, courts also scrutinize the family’s standard of living prior to divorce, as well as the specific needs of the children, and the parents’ ability to pay. However, even when an agreement is reached, child support payments can be modified at a later date if such a change is justified by a substantial change in circumstances.
Post-Divorce Child Support
Once a divorce has been finalized, the parties in question must start implementing any child custody or child support arrangements put in place by the court. While parents are required to abide by these arrangements, which are court orders, it is also true that child support payments can change as a result of:
- A change in job status;
- A drastic change in a child’s needs;
- A significant increase or decrease in income;
- A change in health insurance payments or coverage;
- Relocation; or
- Remarriage or the birth of another child.
While all of these factors are different, most involve a change in at least one of the parent’s financial situation. Such a change in financial circumstances for the payer or the recipient can impact child support arrangements. For example, if the recipient of support gains an additional source of income, the amount that the payer must submit every month could be reduced. If, however, the payer’s income increases, his or her financial support obligations could also increase. In either case, a court will only approve a request for modification of a child support award if either party has undergone a change in circumstances and there is at least a 15 percent difference between the previous order and the new order.
Speak with an Experienced Attorney About Your Case
One of the best ways to determine whether a change in financial circumstances will impact a child support payment is to consult with a knowledgeable child support modification attorney. Please call dedicated Fort Lauderdale child support attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 to learn more about how we can help.