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Established Florida Attorney Helps Parents Modify Child Support Orders

Skilled Florida family lawyer helps you adapt to changing circumstances

Both parents are responsible for supporting their children, but in a divorce when one parent has primary custody (greater timesharing) of a child, the child’s other parent is often responsible for making child support payments. Judges also grant child support to single parents who were never married to the child’s other parent. These payments are intended to give the child or children the same quality of life they would experience if their parents were living together. Sometimes a support order may need to be changed when circumstances for either parent or the child change over time. At Law Office of Patricia Lynch Franklin, P.A., Ms. Franklin represents parents throughout Highlands, Hardee and Polk County who seek to modify child support payments.

Ms. Franklin helps parents modify child support orders and agreements as circumstances change.

Child support awards and agreements are based on the financial circumstances of the parents at the time of the proceedings and the foreseeable needs of the child or children. Changes in the lives of either parent or in the needs of the child may necessitate revisiting the amount of support awarded to account for life changes.

Understanding how a support order is modified

Often, the need to change a child support order is obvious. Unfortunately, this process is not always a simple one. When the parties are agreeable to a modification, an agreed or stipulated order may be entered by the court adopting the parties’ agreement.  When the parents cannot agree to a modification between themselves or through mediation, litigation becomes necessary.  The Law Office of Patricia Lynch Franklin, P.A. will assist parents with modifying child support by agreement, through mediation or through litigation.

Reasons for modifying a support order

The desire or need to change a support order is often based on the changing circumstances of one of the child’s parents. In other cases, it is based on a child’s changing needs. Some of the many common reasons why parents seek to have the amount of support increased or reduced include:

  • Loss of a job or source of income
  • Increased income
  • Incarceration of a parent
  • Disability of a parent
  • New educational expenses
  • Additional expenses for activities such as sports

Ms. Franklin has experience helping parents successfully modify child support orders for a wide variety of reasons.

You need to go through the courts to make changes

Financial problems or the changing needs of your children may alter your circumstances. Still, you must continue to pay child support at the current level until the court modifies your order. Sometimes parents believe that they can decide on their own to decrease or stop child support payments. This is not true. Even when the parties agree to the change, without a court order, the agreement may be unenforceable.  Failing to follow a child support order can lead to arrears, fines or even imprisonment. Ms. Franklin will counsel and help you petition for a modification to avoid any undue hardship.

Even in the case of a drastic and obvious change, such as being arrested and jailed, you cannot stop making your child support payments without the permission of a judge. While you are in jail, all of those payments continue to add up. Contact the Law Office of Patricia Lynch Franklin, P.A. if you cannot make your payments for any reason.

Enforcing child support agreements

If your spouse has fallen behind on child support payments, you may need assistance to collect the money that rightfully belongs to your child. Ms. Franklin guides parents through the process of enforcing a child support order.

Contact an experienced Florida family law attorney

Call Law Office of Patricia Lynch Franklin, P.A. at 863-304-8016 or contact me online to schedule a consultation with a family law attorney in Florida.