When a relationship that involves children ends in a divorce or a separation, one of the issues the court will issue a ruling on is child support. This is a payment made by one parent to the other – most often the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent – for purposes of meeting the child’s financial needs.
While the purpose of child support is to ensure that both parents are actively involved in their child’s financial support, it is important to understand that this payment is never cast in stone. With valid reasons, either party may petition the court to modify the existing child support order.
Here are two reasons why either parent may petition for child support modification in Florida.
Change in the parents’ circumstances
Life’s circumstances keep changing from time to time. If the non-custodial parent’s circumstances change for the better, say their income improves, the custodial parent may petition the court to consider revising child support payment upwards.
Likewise, if the paying parent’s financial circumstances change for the worse, say the loss of income, then they may petition have sufficient grounds to petition for a downward revision of the child support amount.
When there is a change in the child’s needs
Just like life’s circumstances, children’s needs keep changing as they grow up. A toddler may, for instance, need daycare services. In this case, the court may include this need in the child support amount. However, as the child outgrows the need for daycare services, the paying parent may ask the court to consider revising the existing order to reflect the child’s current needs.
Changes in the child’s medical needs may also be sufficient reason for modifying child support payments. If a child develops a condition that requires certain medications or regular doctor appointments, the custodial parent may raise this issue with the court with the goal of having the existing child support amount revised upwards.
Every parent has a responsibility to provide for their child regardless of their relationship with the other parent. These are just some of the reasons either parent may petition for a child support modification.