Child Support and Child Support Modification in the state of Florida is a standardized process. All though it is best to hire a lawyer to navigate what can be a complicated process, there are a plethora of self-help resources to help you with standard child support proceedings. Importantly, this post only applies to cases where a child support order already exists.
The court can change a child support order or judgment if the judge finds that there has been a substantial change in the circumstances of the parties and the change is in the child(ren)’s best interests.
What is considered a substantial change?
If the new child support amount would change the current monthly amount by at least $50 or 15%, whichever is greater, a substantial change has been established. So how do you get a court to make these calculations?
How to petition for a Child Support Modification
You will start by filling out a Petition to Modify Child Support. You will need to either type your information into the spaces provided or print in black ink. When you are finished, you will need to sign the form in front of a notary. You will then file this petition with the county that controls your current child support order. Once it is filed, you will need to have the other party served with the filing. Before rushing to the courthouse with your Petition, there’s more!
You will also need to file a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, a Notice of Social Security Number (unless one was previously filed), and a Family Law Financial Affidavit
Child Support Guidelines Worksheet
This worksheet can feel a bit overwhelming. Take it one block at a time and do your best. When done properly, it will give you an idea of what the new child support amount should be.
Family Law Financial Affidavit
There are two versions of this form. Below, I provided what is called the ‘short form’. This form is to be used if you make less than $50,000 per year. If you make $50,000 or more per year, you will need the full Financial Affidavit.
If you need to file a Notice of Social Security Number you should also file a Notice of Confidential Information along with it. You can find these forms here: Notice of Social Security Number Notice of Confidential Information
Once you have filed your forms, and properly served the other party, you should call the clerk of court for your county and ask for a court date so your case can be heard.
***These forms are provided by the Florida Courts and are complete with detailed instructions for the pro se litigant. I am NOT advising you to file these forms because I do not know your case details. It is important that you contact an attorney to be sure you are filing the proper forms for your particular case facts. If you feel like you can handle your child support modification case, please do your research first and be sure to follow the Florida court’s directions and the directions provided by your county.***
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