Can I Lower My Child Support Payments?

Florida child support orders are never permanent because the court recognizes that life often changes as it unfolds. Parental income and children’s needs change regularly.

  • If you experience significant changes in circumstances, affecting your ability to pay, you may be entitled to pay lower child support payments.
  • Conversely, if you are receiving child support payments and if there is a significant change in circumstances, you may be entitled to receive higher child support payments.

Why Do I Have to Pay Child Support?

Biological and adoptive parents have the financial obligation to support their children into adulthood.

How Do I Request a Change in Child Support Payments?

If you have experienced a significant change in circumstances, you have the right to petition the family court and request a modification of the child support order.

If you don’t have an order, but instead worked out child support payments with your spouse, ask your spouse for his or her permission to change the payment.

  • If you reach a new agreement, you can change the payments.
  • If you cannot reach an agreement, keep paying the agreed upon payments and file a petition with the family court seeking a modification of your agreement.

What Changes Qualify as “Significant Changes” for a Modification of a Child Support Order?

Any change the affects your income in a substantial way may qualify you for a modification. Here are common “significant changes” that the paying parent may experience, which call for a decrease in child support payments.

  • Birth or adoption of child with a different other parent. 
  • Serious illness affecting income. 
  • Job loss. 
  • Underemployment with wage reduction. 
  • Incarceration. 
  • Significant increase in income or access to assets by your child’s other parent. 
  • The child’s needs change.

How Can I Get My Child Support Payments Increased?

The change in child support payments works both ways. Child support payments can be decreased or increased, as circumstances dictate. Here are common “significant changes”, which call for an increase in child support payments.

  • The receiving parent becomes ill, loses a job, is underemployed, or otherwise suffers lower income. 
  • The paying spouse makes more money or has access to more assets. 
  • The child’s needs change.

Am I Legally Entitled to Pay Less or Receive Higher Child Support Payments?

If you want to know whether you can increase or decrease child support payments, we’d be happy to analyze your case and either negotiate with your spouse’s family law attorney or petition the court, as appropriate. We invite you to call our Florida family law offices at 904-264-3627 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We look forward to hearing from you.



Contact Us

We represent Clay, St. Johns, Duval and Putnam County residents

Our office is located across the street from the Clay County Courthouse in Green Cove Springs at the same intersection as the CVS Pharmacy. Although we are located in Clay County, we assist all Florida residents and counsel anyone who needs help with issues related to Florida law. To schedule an office or phone consultation please call or stop by our office location. We look forward to your call: 904-264-3627 or 904-284-5618.