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Can my ex and I change the child support agreement without going to court?

Lakeland, FL |

My daughter is moving in with me this year. I get child support taken from my paycheck weekly. Can we create an agreement (signed by both of us & notarized) stating that she will give me half of the weekly support (since I will now be keeping my daughter & she'll be living with me?) If so, what if my ex starts keeping it? How will that agreement we created between us, hold up in court?

What would be the quickest most efficient way to get the modification done? How long would it take? Would we need to get new financial affidavits?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

You can agree to change the allocation of child support, but you will have to go to court and do it through a modification action, using the child support guidelines set forth in the statute. Although there are forms available, it is a somewhat confusing process, and I would strongly suggest that you hire a lawyer to assist you. If you both agree, it should be a relatively simple matter for a lawyer to resolve, although one lawyer can only represent one of you. If there were any disagreements, or any questions that the two of you had about separate rights and responsibilities, you would each need to consult with separate lawyers, or consult with a collaborative divorce firm. It would cost you a little more up front, but would save you a great deal of aggravation and potential problems down the road.

Asker

Posted

Thank you so much for your help & your quick response. If we do go through an attorney, will we have to go through another child support modificaiton process? The reason I ask, is because we just did it a year ago & it took forever. I don't want to be paying out to my ex, while my daughter is living with me - in all actuality, I'd be paying double, one for her expenses with me - and still to my ex. I am just looking for the quickest way to get the support cut in half (the other half for my son which will still live with my ex) preferrably before my daughter moves in. What do you suggest?

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

Even if you agree, you do have to do the modification. If you don't the agreement may not be enforceable, and that could cause you problems. It shouldn't take forever if you agree. The attorney ought to be able to file the modification and walk through an order. It should be a relatively short and simple process if there is no disagreement at all. You shouldn't need a series of hearings, just a petition, UCCJEA, the guidelines worksheet, and a stipulated order. Unless there is some unusual glitch in the way they do things in Polk County that I am not aware of. I have practiced in Polk County, and they seem reasonable to me.

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

BTW, yes, you would need new financial affidavits.

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

The part that sometimes takes time is the IDO. That's usually because of the interaction with the employer implementing it.

Posted

You should have an attorney prepare a Modification Agreement, and then get the Court to enter an Order incorporating that Agreement. They would also enter an Amended Income Deduction Order at that time. Feel free to contact me for assistance.

Gwen J. Cryer, Esq.
1507 Park Center Dr., Suite N
Orlando, FL 32835
Tel: (407) 370-9661
Fax: (407) 370-9480
Email: gcryer@lawgrp.net
http://www.lawgrp.net

Posted

If the two of you agree, you can enter into a stipulated agreement to modify the support, but this must be filed with the court and an agreed order must be entered by the judge. It also sounds like there is an income deduction order in place because it is being taken from your paycheck, so an amended IDO must be entered by the court as well so it can be sent to your employer. Please feel free to contact my office for assistance.

You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a family & criminal law firm located in Orlando, Florida, we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls at 407-377-6828. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.