Job-Related Divorce Modifications In Port St. Lucie
Back in ye olden days, many people worked at one job for life. Those days are gone now. In fact, the average Floridian changes jobs up to fifteen times during their lives.
If the job-changing person was divorced and had minor children, the change probably affects both the child support obligation and the parenting plan. Most job changes come with an increase or decrease in salary. Furthermore, most job changes also mean a shorter or longer commute.
Keep reading to see how to legally change your marriage dissolution papers to reflect your new salary and/or living arrangements. A failure to update the official papers could cause major trouble later on.
Changing Child Support in Port St. Lucie
Like so many other things in life, there is an easy way and a hard way to change a child support obligation. Either party may request a modification up or down.
First, the easy way. If a new salary is more than 15 percent different than the old salary, or at least $50 per week different, the Port St. Lucie judge will modify the support amount. That is assuming that the person changed jobs in good faith. An obligor cannot take a lower-paying job strictly to lower a child support obligation.
Change of salary is not the only thing that can support a child support modification. These motions may also be based on changed circumstances, including:
- Expenses: Things like daycare costs and health insurance premiums are expensive. If they go up or down, the change could lead to a change in the child support obligation. The same thing could happen if an alimony obligation ends. The obligee spouse can argue that less money going to alimony means there is more money for child support. That argument is often successful.
- Parenting Time: Unlike some other states, the amount of time that parents spend with their children is relevant in determining the child support amount. If the number of overnight visits changes substantially, the court may change the financial support obligation to reflect the new arrangement.
Typically, the child support modification procedure is not that complicated unless the Florida Department of Revenue has ever been involved in the matter.
Modifying a Port St. Lucie Parenting Plan
Many times, parents execute “side agreements” with regard to things like visitation schedules, exchange times, and so forth. The problem is that these agreements are not enforceable, even if they are in writing and signed. At any time, one parent can renege on the agreement, and the other parent has no recourse. So, it’s very important to have a Port St. Lucie judge approve the agreement and make it part of the official papers.
If your spouse does not agree to a proposed modification, you can file a motion and claim that the proposed change is in the best interest of the child. Some factors to consider include:
- Physical Safety: An increasing number of courts are holding that if there are verified allegations of domestic abuse, that one factor is sufficient to change the parenting plan as needed.
- Consistency: Children, especially younger children, thrive on routine. If the current setup is working reasonably well, a Florida judge will probably not change it. Basically, the moving parent must show not only that circumstances have changed, but they have made the current situation untenable.
There may be some other factors as well, such as family relationships outside the immediate home, but they are not as important. The judge may also consider the child’s wishes, under certain circumstances.
Contact Experienced Lawyers
Frequent modification is a part of almost all divorces in Florida. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. We routinely handle cases throughout the Treasure Coast area.