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What must be alleged to receive a modification of child support?

Posted by attorney Dustin Butler

The First District Court of Appeal recently addressed what must be proven to receive a modification of child support. In this case, the Father alleged that he was paying child support in excess of the statutory guidelines and that the reduction in support would be in the best interests of the minor child. However, the Father DID NOT allege that there was an involuntary and permanent change in circumstances.

Florida Statute § 61.14 addresses what must be proven to modify child support.

“the circumstances or the financial ability of either party changes or the child who is a beneficiary of an agreement or court order... reaches majority after the execution of the agreement or the rendition of the order..." Fla. Stat. § 61.14

Failure to allege that the child has reached majority or that there has been a change in circumstances can result in your case being dismissed. Given that the Court can only modify the child support back to the date of filing, a dismissal could cost you months of paying an increased child support. Therefore it is very important that matters be properly plead when attempting a modification in child support.

See, VanLooven v. VanLooven, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D2385a (Fla. 1d DCA 2012).

Dustin Michael Butler is an Attorney with Martin Law Firm, P.L., whose practice focuses in Family Law and Civil Litigation. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Florida and the Federal Court for the Middle District of Florida. He primarily practices in Lee County Florida in Cape Coral and Fort Myers, Florida.

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