On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
The coronavirus pandemic has swept across the United States and changed the way of life for most people. No place is this more apparent than the economy. Those who pay or receive child support may find that they are struggling, particularly if a paying parent has lost their job. At The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, Fort Lauderdale child support attorneys want to discuss what child support order modifications are and how parents can approach this situation.
Why Would You Need A Child Support Modification Order Right Now?
The unfortunate reality of the coronavirus pandemic is that many people have been furloughed or laid off from their jobs. This may affect a person’s ability to pay their child support obligations. It is important for those who pay child support, as well as those who receive child support payments, to understand that there may be times when modifications are needed. We do want to point out that you should never make any changes to child support payments without going through the courts. Failing to pay child support can result in serious legal consequences such as tremendous fines and even jail time.
In Florida, child support can be modified when the circumstances or financial ability of either parent involved changes. However, this change must be fairly significant, material, involuntary and relatively permanent in nature. Right now, those who have experienced job losses due to the coronavirus may meet these requirements for a modification to child support.
In order to obtain a modification, a person will need to file a petition with the Florida family court system outlining their current financial status. It is important to point out that unemployment benefits will be counted as income for the purposes of child support. The sooner you file for a child support modification, the better. The court does have the authority to modify your child support obligations retroactively, but only to the date of filing the petition for modification, which is not necessarily when the job loss occurred.
This Is Not A Permanent Solution
As the economy begins to open back up, it may be the case that many people are able to go back to work. If you have obtained a modification that allows you to pay less child support, please be aware that the order may again be modified once you return to work and are making a higher income. Unemployment benefits are not permanent, and they will not be available if a person is allowed to return to their previous job and refuses to do so.
We Are Ready To Help You Today
If you are having issues with your monthly child support payment due to the coronavirus pandemic, you may need to seek legal assistance to help with the modification order. At The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, our qualified and experienced team is ready to get to work on your behalf. We will analyze your entire situation and work to secure any notifications that are justified. When you need a Fort Lauderdale child support attorney, you can contact us by clicking here or calling 954-533-2756 for a free consultation.