Does Child Support Increase If My Salary Increases?
Under Florida law, both parents are financially responsible for helping raise their kids, regardless of whether they are together or not. This is why family courts impose financial obligations on parents during paternity cases and divorce proceedings.
When judges calculate how much child support the non-custodial parent must pay, they will consider the child’s living requirements and the non-custodial parent’s income. Once they determine a fair amount, they will incorporate it into the child support order. If the non-custodial parent fails to make their child support payments, they can face heavy fines and even jail time.
If your salary increases and you pay child support to your child’s other parent, you may be wondering if your support amount will also increase. Depending on your circumstances, your support amount may or may not increase.
Your Child Support Payment Will Not Automatically Increase
The most common reason for modifying a child support amount is when the income of the non-custodial parent changes. Since that parent’s income is among the main factor’s courts consider when determining child support amounts, a substantial change in income could likewise change the child support amount.
This means that if the non-custodial parent’s salary has increased and it would impact the child support amount by 10% or more, it could be considered a substantial enough change to request the court to modify an existing child support amount.
So if you receive a raise or a bonus, it might not necessarily meet the threshold of impacting the existing amount by 10% or more. If it does, however, there’s a possibility that you may need to start paying more child support. But it’s crucial to note that this increase will not automatically happen.
The custodial parent must be aware of this salary increase and file a petition for a child support modification. The court must decide whether the custodial parent has grounds for the modification request. For example, if your salary has increased, but the financial needs of your child have remained the same and can still be covered by your existing support amount, the court may consider not modifying the existing support order. The court may also opt to recalculate the amount based on your current income.
You also have the option of not going to the court directly by negotiating with the custodial parent a new support amount, if possible. But if you go this route, you will need your lawyer to draft the new support agreement and file it with the court for approval instead of paying the non-custodial parent more without a court order because you may not get credit for these extra payments in court.
Consult with a Skilled Family Law Attorney in West Palm Beach Today
If you’re going through any child support, custody, or visitation issue or would like to know more about the state laws that apply to your situation, our experienced West Palm Beach family law attorney, Brian McMahon, is ready to help. Contact our office at 561-658-1789 or online to arrange a free consultation with our West Palm Beach family law attorney.