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Child Support Modifications: The Time to File is Now

Families everywhere are feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even in social isolation, we can’t hide from the reality now facing our health, businesses, schools, economy, and more. Many people have already experienced lay-offs or furloughs and still more may face other employment changes in the weeks and months to come.

With so much uncertainty, it can be difficult for parents to feel secure and confident in their ability to continue making child support payments as required by the courts, especially as circumstances are changing significantly. If you have concerns about your ability to continue fulfilling your responsibility, now is the time to act.

How to Request a Child Support Modification:

If you have already been furloughed or lost your job, now is the time to consider filing for abatement or modification to your child support payments. While abatement delays the payments you are responsible for, it does not change the amount you will owe.

Conversely, a court-approved modification will change the amount of child support you are responsible for. What’s more, any modification made will be retroactively applied to the date of initial filing. Consider these two scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: You lost your job because your company permanently closed its doors with no plans to reopen. Your prospects for finding new employment are uncertain, and you find yourself facing unemployment for the foreseeable future. You wait six months hoping your situation changes. It does not, so you file a child support modification petition with the courts.
  • Scenario 2: The same situation applies; however, instead of waiting six months before taking action, you file for a modification today.

In the first scenario, you will be responsible for your full and original child support payments during those six months of unemployment prior to filing for a modification.

In the second scenario, your court-approved modification amount will be retroactively applied. So even if you don’t go to court for six months to a year, the amount of monthly child support you owe will be retroactively applied to that initial filing date.

If you’ve experienced a change of circumstances, don’t delay in talking with our team at Vasquez de Lara Law Group about filing for a child support modification. The difference in the amount you owe may be significant depending on when you take action.

For questions about child support payments and other important family law issues, tune in to our Facebook page daily at 9am ET. We’ll discuss new topics each day and answer your questions. Can’t join us live? Be sure to look through our video archives, and feel free to get in touch with us directly anytime.

Author Bio

Vanessa Vasquez de Lara is the founder and owner of Vasquez de Lara Law Group, a Miami family law firm. With over 20 years of experience in family law, she has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including divorces, child support, child custody, alimony, and other family law cases.

Vanessa received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002 and is a member of the Florida Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named to the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the 2016-2023 Super Lawyers list.

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