Modification of a Final Judgment as Related to Child Support
First, let’s a look at the terms final judgment and child support:
Final Judgment: This is the finished document signed by the presiding judge overseeing a couple’s dissolution of marriage. It will contain the ways in which each spouse will govern their obligations to each other and to their children (if there are any). Each case is different and there are a myriad of items, which may be part of the final document, the issue of child support being one of them. This document can also be used to stipulate child support requirements for non-married couples whose union has produced children needing support.
Child Support: This entails the money and life and/or health insurance one spouse gives the other for the care and nurturing of any minor children. This can also include dependent children in college or children with special needs requiring care into adulthood. Sometimes the method of payment of the adjudicated amount from one parent to the other is also addressed.
But what happens as time goes by and needs of the children change, living arrangements change, or health of a parent, or income of either of the parents changes, either greater or less? What can a parent do to try to make a change in child support?
In almost every case it is wise to contact an experienced Family Law Attorney who can review the particulars, help you collect the needed evidence, and proceed to file the necessary paperwork to put in motion a Modification of a Final Judgment as related to child support.
In the case of child support, using the state of Florida as an example, under Florida law you can always modify child support. There is no such thing as unmodifiable child support. Whenever either parent satisfies basic requirements for modification that parent may file the required petition for modification of child support. Basic requirements could include change of income such as job loss or promotion. It can include increased expenses including ordered child support or alimony from a subsequent marriage, health insurance needs, and/or a change in payroll taxes. Also basic requirements can include costly health issues for a child or parent, change in number of child over-nights or change in paid daycare needs.
Moderation of child support varies slightly in each county in Florida, however the basics are similar. A Supplemental Petition to Modify Child Support must be filed and served on the other parent. Both sides must reveal financial information to the other and have substantial proof for needed modification. Some jurisdictions require a mediation before a trial date is set and then you may have your case heard by a special type of judge titled a Magistrate or Hearing Officer rather than the judge who singed off on your divorce. It should be noted here there are many considerations when seeking to modify child support, some very complicated.
A final note: Sometime a third party such as a paid caregiver who was part of the original child support final judgment will be included in the modification proceedings.
Each case is unique and almost always requires an experienced Family Law Attorney to competently handle the situation in order to reach the desired outcome. Call to schedule a free in house consultation with Attorney Grant Gisondo to find out more (561) 530-4568.