You may be entitled to a reduction of your child support obligation in Florida as a result of new laws. 

Effective October 1, 2010 all final judgments and income deduction orders must delineate the starting amount of child support and end date.  If there is more than one minor child the law requires that the final judgment and income deduction order delineate the end date for the older child(ren) and the new child support amount that is due, and so on until the obligation for the youngest child is done and over.  A supplemental petition to modify the existing final judgment and order for child support can be filed and determined by the court.

The law is flawed in that it requires future child support obligations to be determined based on facts existing now.  Things change and in all likelihood the changes would have a profound effect on the child support calculations.  For instance, calculating child support for 3 children today for 10 years from now could mean factoring in daycare expense that goes away in a few years, or using health care expense numbers that change drastically on account of Obamacare.  The only way to fix the problem is to seek relief from the court.  Doing it by mutual agreement without a court order is very risky in that an order requires compliance and sanctions can be entered, including for past due child support, regardless of any agreement entered into between the parents.

          As of January 1, 2011 another law takes effect.  This one gives the non-custodial parent (although “custody” is now a dead term, this is how people and judges still talk) a deep child support discount for having substantial timesharing with the children.  Up until now the threshold for the discount was 40% (146 overnights) and some fathers would insist on 146 or more overnights in order to pay little or no child support.  The result was to bog down the system with cases that should have been settled.  The child support reduction threshold has been lowered to 20% (73 overnights) which is easily attainable without much fuss.  Standard every other weekend and a night or 2 during the week, plus vacation and holiday time should get dad to the threshold.

          The new law can be a basis for a supplemental petition to modify child support.  If you are a dad with an existing child support obligation you may be entitled to seek a reduction in that obligation as a result of the new laws.  The Miller Law firm handles reduction of child support cases throughout Florida.  Visit the law firm’s website at to find out more about the law firm.

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