Get Guidance on Modification of Child Support Orders and Not Fines or Jail Time
Zephyrhills, Fla. – Currently, there are 25 arrest warrants in Zephyrhills for child support that is past due. When a person has a significant life change, they may be able to modify their court-ordered child support so they do not wind up in jail or court. More importantly, child support cannot generally be modified retroactive to the date the supplemental petition is filed, so waiting to file allows a large arrearage to accrue. Be aware that it can take some time after filing to have a final hearing on the modification, but the judge has the ability to change the support payments retroactive to the date the modification was filed.
One man was recently arrested for not paying child support since 1993. He moved from New York, California, Arkansas, and Florida, never paying child support. He now allegedly owes $175,000 in back child support, his indictment read.
In Florida, an individual must show why a modification is needed. The change in circumstances must be substantial, permanent, and involuntary. In this time of layoffs and job loss, income is often the main factor, although it may be that the child has married or otherwise become emancipated.
“Sometimes there is also a need to extend child support because of schooling or medical issues,” said Zephyrhills family law attorney Marcie L. Baker of the law firm Alston & Baker, P.A. “Generally, a good rule is that the support order be reviewed every 3 years, but life changes oftentimes happen earlier than that.” Expert legal counsel is recommended to file and ensure accuracy of the Supplemental Petition for Modification of Child Support.
A family law attorney will give the guidance to accomplish a modification successfully. If the parties can reach an agreement, a judge will review it and approve the modification to make it legally enforceable. If the ex-spouse will not agree to the modification, each parent must argue the pros and cons of the proposed change in court.
“The courts will always look to the stability of the children and their best interests,” Baker said. The new child support order will remain effective until support is no longer mandated or another modification is ordered.
Family law attorney Marcie Baker has practiced law for 15 years, and has more than eight years of experience representing clients in family law matters. She is well versed in child and spousal support, child custody, child paternity, enforcements, and divorce.