Change Child Support Order
by Loriann from Palm Beach County, Florida
Change Child Support Order:
My ex husband has custody. One daughter turned 18 this past May, and the other has lived with me for 2 years now.
I tried going to child support with my ex to explain the circumstances, and were told we have to go through the courts.
Do I really have to pay filing fees, fill out all that paperwork, pay the sheriff to serve my ex, and then wait on a court date?
I am still dealing with a wage garnishment that child support won't even consider looking at.
I have no issue with paying any arrearages, but the original order is still being enforced by child support.
Please help us. I don't have the money for all these fees, and don't want to embarrass him by having him served.
Answer to Florida Child Support Question
The only reason I know of that the child support office would turn you two away like that is if the Department of Revenue was not a party to the original child support order.
In other words, the child support order was granted through an original Petition for Divorce or through a Petition for Paternity and ordered by a judge in family court.
If that is the case, then yes, you will have to go through the proper court procedures to have the order modified. The good news is that the filing fee to re-open an existing case is still only $50 in most of the Florida circuit courts.
This is done through a Supplemental Petition. And as with all Petitions and Supplemental Petitions, the other party must be properly served. In your Process Service Memorandum, you can ask the sheriff to serve your husband at a specific location on a specific day and time.
As long as the request is not unreasonable, you can have your ex served where any embarrassment to him can be minimized. Alternatively, your ex could file for the Supplemental Petition to Modify and have you served instead. Just a thought.
Either way, you will have to abide by the proper procedures for your case to be heard by a judge.
On a side note, I've heard that a Joint Supplemental Petition to Modify can be a viable alternative, but I am not familiar with the forms, the process or the procedure to give you any help or information.
But, it seems logical that a Joint Petition would not require the personal service procedure that the regular Supplemental Petition procedure requires.
You should ask a lawyer for some legal advice about the possibility of trying to file your child support modification jointly.
You could also ask if a joint filing is possible, if any service of process is required. All we can do is help you draft a custom Joint Supplemental Petition Form per your instructions. Since you are both in agreement, I think it would be worth looking into.Notice:
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Our Self Help Guide, Modifying Child Support in Florida
, helps you navigate the court process and procedures once you file your documents with easy to follow checklists, links to websites, important addresses & phone numbers, and much more. Modifying Child Support In Florida
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