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Do you go into arrears during a child support modification?

Bradenton, FL |

My ex filed to modify my child support back in July. I'm looking at an increase from $200/month to $700/month. Will I be required to pay this $500/mth increase dating back to July 2012, if the court orders the modification?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

A child support modification petition reverts back to the date the petition was filed. You will be responsible for the arrears accumulated during that time. Usually the courts will make you pay the arrears at a 10% or 20% rate of the new child support. In essence you will probable be ordered to pay anywhere from $70.00 to $140.00 per month in addition to the $700.00 being ordered until the arrears are satisfied.
However, if you had a child born between the time of the Final judgment and now you can raise the claim of "an afterborn child" which could have an effect to lower your child support down from the $700.00. You should consult an attorney to discuss your case.


Yes, the increase if granted will in all likelihood be granted from the date the Petition for Modification was filed.


Daniel Bachert, Esq.
The Bachert Law Firm, P.A.
330 Clematis Street, Suite 222
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
(561) 653-3951

Please be aware and advised that this public forum is designed to provide only general information, to give you a basis of legal knowledge. This public forum does not give you attorney-client privilege. You and I have not entered into an attorney-client relationship. I am not responsible for your legal rights and this answer is based solely on the information you have provided in your question and as always, I would advise that you arrange for an in person consultation with an attorney from my firm or another Family Law attorney familiar with Florida Family Law who can analyze the specific facts and circumstances of your case more closely to better advise you.


Generally, a modification is retroactive back to the date the Petition for Modification is filed but this is not automatic. If your income increased prior to the date of filing and you had an ability to pay the increased child support, then the court will probably exercise it's discretion. Dependent on the extent of your holdings/ assets, you may not be required to pay any such retroactive support in one lump sum. Any increase in your child support obligation would also include a payment towards the arrears. If you are employed other than self-employed and have received a pay raise, and you are not disputing your former spouse's/ other parent's income, then this case should settle without the necessity of a final hearing. Child Support is rather straight forward if the parties are both employed and there is no issue of either parent being voluntarily under- or unemployed or self employed. If you wish to discuss this matter further, please give me a call at 727/ 895-5858, or email me at: Thank you.

The foregoing is not intended as legal advice. In order to provide you with legal advice and/ or an informed, expert opinion, I would need to gather additional information. If you are desirous of legal advice and representation, please feel free to call my Office for a free initial consultation at 727/ 895-5858. Thank you.

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