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Can I modify my child support even if I agreed to pay more than the guidelines required in the state of Florida?

Orlando, FL |

I got an divorce two years ago and I agreed to pay $900 in child support for one child, but Florida guidelines only required me to pay $618. My income is still the same since I filed my divorce. Will the judge reopen the case and allow me to pay the $618 or do a modification? My income has not decrease, but I can no longer afford to pay the extra support, should I hire a lawyer? There is no information on this topic because no man has ever agreed to pay more in child support than suppose to, I've searched online for answers and could not find one!

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Attorney answers 4


Child support is always subject to modification, but since you have had no decrease in income, you may have some difficulty showing a basis. You need to meet with an attorney to review all te circumstances of your case to determine your options.

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Thank you Heather, I was under so much pressure and duress during my marriage, I thought I was doing the right thing. Even though I agreed to pay so much, the amount I'm paying is almost as much if I was making $50,000 a year. I had no knowledge at the time and now they are taking an additional $180 a month for back pay, after I went to court and proved that I'm overpaying and haven't missed any payments. So now I'm paying $1,090 on a $3,500 a month income.



I meant $1,080.00


Child support is always modifiable but you have to show that there has been a substantial change in your circumstances from when you got divorced and agreed to the amount to your circmstances now. You indicate your pay is the same so a decrease in income is not going to establish the changed circumstances. You need to spake with an attorney and explain your position and see if anything can be done. Good luck.

B. Elaine Jones, Esq.


Based on the limited information provided, it does not appear that you can meet the required legal basis to modify child support - a substantial change in circumstances. If you want to pursue this issue, you need to meet with an experienced family law attorney, who will review all the pertinent facts and will review your agreement/court order and then give you specific legal advice.

Eileen D. Jacobs, Esq.
Office: 2505 W. Virginia Avenue
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 877-9600
Mailing: P.O. Box 14953
Clearwater, Florida 33766-4953
(727) 787-6595


Is there any language in your Agreement or Final Judgment regarding the deviation, and the basis for it? Generally, child support is modified based on a change in the Guidelines amount, which of course requires a substantial change in your income. However, since you are not seeking a change in the Guidelines amount, but instead your deviation from that Guidelines amount, I would argue that the relevant factors that caused you to pay the amount deviating from the Guidelines amount has changed. You will have a harder time doing this if your Agreement and Order are silent on the issue. This is fact-specific and something that should be reviewed by an attorney to best advise you. Please feel free to contact me for a consultation.

Gwen J. Cryer
Attorney at Law
1507 Park Center Dr., Suite N
Orlando, FL 32835
Telephone (407) 370-9661
Fax (407) 370-9480

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