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Could inflation lead to a change in child support?

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2023 | Child Support |

It is common for one parent in Florida to pay child support to the other after a breakup or divorce. Even when parents try to create time-sharing arrangements that are close to even, the different economic circumstances of the spouses may necessitate child support payments.

How much each parent makes and the unique needs of the children can influence child support levels. Unusual situations, including custody arrangements for children with special needs, may deviate from more standard orders because family costs are higher.

Economic factors can influence how much support families require, as well as how much support one parent can afford. Inflation has recently affected the purchasing power of many Florida households. Will high rates of inflation lead to an increase in child support obligations?

Modifications require substantial changes

Inflation has been a major concern in recent months, with many consumers reporting reduced buying power despite stagnant wages. Economic signs do indicate that inflation has slowed in many markets, but middle-class and working-class families will likely still struggle to absorb higher costs for necessary items, like groceries.

In theory, the Florida family courts can review and modify a child support order anytime that financial circumstances substantially change for the family. Either parent has a right to petition the courts to review the child support order and potentially increase or decrease the amount. A major alteration to the time-sharing arrangements could lead to a change of child support. So could a change in Parental income or an increase in a child’s care costs.

Inflation could potentially affect child support in some areas. If a parent can show that child support has increased their household costs significantly, they could request more support. Usually, the state standard for a modification hearing is a change that will result in a 15% adjustment of the support ordered or $50, although parents can also request a review if their order is more than three years old.

Understanding modification rules benefits modern co-parents. Requesting a modification when your circumstances don’t meet the standard established by the state could negatively affect how the courts view you and your future claims.

Carefully evaluating your financial circumstances to determine if a child support modification is appropriate can help you decide if going back to court would be the smartest option in your case.