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Does Child Support Decrease if My Salary Decreases?

When a couple with children divorces, they both still need to financially support their children. While both parents may share custody of the children, one parent is typically the custodial parent, while the other pays child support.

Child support is often a contentious family law matter. Not many parents want to pay it, but if they fail to do so, it could come with serious penalties, like fines and jail time.

The amount of child support a parent may be forced to pay varies based on several main factors, including the parent’s income, the number of children, and the child’s needs. Under Florida Statutes Section 61.30, child support is required until a child turns 18 (or 19 years old if the child is still in school).

Child support is set at a certain amount, but you may wonder: Can that amount change? For example, if your salary decreases, will your child support amount decrease as well?

It can, but it will not change on its own. Child support is a court order, so you will have to file a modification with the court in order for the amount to change in any way. Your lawyer can help. Here is what you need to know.

When Your Salary Decreases

Your salary may decrease if you lose your job or you are demoted and your employer gives you a pay cut. It could also decrease if you become ill or disabled to the point where you are working a lot less or lose your job altogether.

If the decrease is at least 15% or at least $50, then the court will consider a child support modification. If it has been more than three years since the support order was issued or changed, a change in circumstances would mean a difference of 10% or at least $25. This means the change in wages needs to be significant. If you are working a few hours less per week, then that may not be enough.

Another thing to consider is that your salary must decrease involuntarily. If you quit your job on purpose because you do not want to pay child support, the modification will not be approved. It will also not be approved if you were terminated for reasons within your control, you took a lower-paying job, or you engaged in criminal conduct that resulted in incarceration.

Contact Our West Palm Beach Child Support Lawyer Today

If you lose a job or end up making less money, your child support may be affected. However, things do not happen automatically. You will need to file a modification on your end.

Florida has child support guidelines that must be followed. If you are having trouble following them or need help obtaining support from the other parent, contact Brian K. McMahon, P.A. He is a West Palm Beach divorce lawyer who can help you with child support and other family law matters. Call (561) 658-1789 or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation. We serve West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Port St. Lucie, and South Florida.