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Child support upward modification questions

Started by 23ncp, Dec 20, 2015, 04:57:58 PM

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State of Child support- Florida

I reside in another State...(don't want to mention what State for privacy reasons).

Here is the situation. I pay an amount of child support that was very difficult for me to pay at one point in time, but my recent income has made the amount of CS that I pay far below the guidelines.

CP hasn't requested a modification and it has been many years.

I have never done anything wrong to my child, but the assertion is that my child doesn't want to see me anymore and the judge just ordered that CP doesn't have to force him.

I bring this up because there is not supposed to be a relationship between child support and visitation but in reality there often is...just never to the NCP's benefit.

CP has just filed an additional motion to modify visitation and obtain sole decision making. I don't want to discuss why I think CP will get sole parental responsibility, so please don't bring that up in this thread.

As part of that motion, financial affidavits have automatically been compelled on both of us even though CP's motion specifically States that the motion is strictly a petition to modify visitation and parental decision making.

I am out of work so I have no income. CP works under the table and reports no income.

If CP obtains sole parental responsibility, I will lose all overnights (not just as a matter of course but now as part of an order).

As a loss of the present quasi overnights, the formula will work further against me as it pertains to child support.

My attorney advises that the motion for sole parental decision making is simply a way for CP to modify child support upwards.

I am concerned that the judge will impute income from me since I have never been lucky in court and the judge hates/hates/hates my guts.

I am also concerned about newly and immediately induced arrears if the judge decides to impute income.

Could there be a scenario where I immediately lose my driver's license, passport, get damaged credit, because of the newly induced arrears and new child support obligation that I won't be able to pay because I have no job??

I'd like to know what might happen in the most extreme case.

My lawyer seems uber convinced that my child support will be going up soon.....so I am preparing for the worst.

I have lost my passport, driver's license, damaged credit etc. etc. over the years so I won't rule anything out.



Few things:
1. Give her sole legal custody(that is for decision making but does not affect the visitation).

2. Tell judge you are willing to see child and you are in the process of dealing with some issues with child but want to keep your visitation on paper so you can have visitation when child is ready.

3. You will not instantly loose license, passport. At least for 30 days....

4. When the hearing is going on and it looks like judge will make child support go up, make a deal you will pay $50 payments until arrears gets paid. That will be an order so they can not take taxes, license....

5. She has to show a change in circumstance to get child support recalculated. Since this is not a child support case yet, I would not hand over financials until trial (not even hearing). Lawyer does not need it either yet....We rarely give the attached financial sheets unless it goes to trial which most times hearings or outside hallway deals do the trick. Maybe offer sole custody and change visitation to at least 2 weeks a year and reasonable visitation when father is in child's town for dinner visits. (Child is refusing anyhow and we talked about that in other thread...2 years this will be a non issue).

6. Have lawyer have a stipulation with the above written , you read it before, and ready to go . Lawyer may be able to make a hallway deal without hearing. Then you will see if ex goes back for child support hearing but they probably will NOT discuss child support with this petition unless she files something else. You can always negotiate other things to add /cross out in hallway.



Thanks Ocean,

Thinking of how to respond since some of the wheels have already turned prior to your posting. Some of the wheels are spot on with your thoughts though.


Ok Ocean...thanks...

Here is an update to this post:

CP's attorney filed this motion in early December. The motion was kicked back by the Clerk for being unreadable. She forwarded this motion on to my attorney though and never long arm served me. The Clerk mentioned that CP's attorney would have been immediately aware that the motion was rejected. I think that if I was CP's attorney, I'd just file another one immediately. Maybe CP is backing off? My attorney is going to agree to accept service on my behalf so this mess doesn't linger for too long. I guess I'll see what the motivation is soon.

I also contacted CP to let them know that I'd be giving them their way in not asking when CP would be sending my child but leaving an open door policy. There is not much more than a year where child is quasi lawfully obligated to see me anyways, so I can just focus on the child support aspect for now.

As to your points below:

1) The motion was for sole decision making...not sure if that is as restrictive as sole legal custody or if it is a synonym of sole decision making. (I kept saying Sole parental responsibility....at this point I wish that the court would allow that but that won't happen since that would mean no more child support).

2) Sole decision making does not preclude visitation as far as I know.

3) Thanks....I hear that I lose nothing as long as the hypothetical new arrears are included in the new order with an agreement to pay, DOR is not "supposed to" take any of my freedoms away.

4) I guess your point 3 supports point 3 & 4....but thanks for reminding me not to walk out of there without that understanding if possible.

5) Too late, financial affidavits already shown...but for similar cause as you mentioned...hallway deals e.g. telephonic deals etc.

6) Yep yep, true child support motivation will show after this hearing if it is not heard now.



Sole legal-sole decision making-----same thing. Basically she picks school, doctors....so what, she is now!

If you give sole legal and physical that does NOT mean you don't pay child support. You can never get out of child support usually unless another person is willing to adopt (step parent). States do not want to give one parent a free ride in case child winds up on the state aid.

Not sure if this is just about sole decision making then why financials were given. If they were just given to your lawyer then tell him to keep them from other side for now.

If you were not served , then they are just trying to compromise through lawyers. Up to you, but we "fire" our lawyer so we are not charged for all the back and forth between court dates. Let ex serve you and let that lawyer deal with you. Then if you need a lawyer for court, hire them for hearings/trial only. One way to save some money in all of this. And really if you are not fighting what she is asking in petition, go yourself to this hearing. If they bring up money, say this petition is about xyz and I would want representation for any changes in financials.



I concur. The thing is that my attorney already has a retainer and it is non refundable. Might as well use it all up in that case. :)

As far as the financials go, Florida made it law in 2007 where both parties have to file a financial affidavit for any modification of any kind. So there is a possibility that this is not about child support.

Thanks very much.


One thing that came to mind while reading this - depending on the state, it may take two parental signatures to allow marriage of a minor unless court ordered otherwise.  So if she has papers in hand stating that she has sole legal custody (decision making), she could sign for the child to marry before age 18.  She would then simply not tell you and CS would continue.  What reason would she have for wanting to have documentation of decisions when she's technically already doing that unless she needs it in writing for some reason?
The wonderful thing about tiggers is I'm the only one!


yeah.....or a passport? Sole legal will allow her to get a passport without your permission.


Yes....I was thinking about child's passport. Child is supposedly too mentally ill to fly.

CP likes to tour the world with child and passport is almost up at this point. Interesting thought on the marriage sign of and still getting child support.

I wonder how I can lawfully and dynamically identify whether or not child gets married before then.