I can’t afford my child support payment. Can I lower the amount?
Maybe, but you need to file papers with the court. The papers you need to file depend on what kind of support order you have.
- Administrative: If your child support order is an Administrative Order (it has the word “Administrative” in the title and is signed by a Department of Revenue representative), you would file a brand-new case with a “Petition for Superseding Support Order.”
- Don’t use your child support case number; the court will assign your new case a new number.
- Judicial: If your child support order is a judicial order (signed by a judge, magistrate, or hearing officer), you would file a “Supplemental Petition for Modification of Child Support” using the same support case number you already have.
Any petition you file has to be personally served on the other person involved in your case.
The court can then consider your income to decide whether to lower the payment. If you are not working and have no income, the Court can still use an income for you as if you were working and order that you pay support. There may be exceptions if you are a person who is disabled and receiving disability benefits.
You can get the forms mentioned above either online or at the courthouse. The forms are free online, and at the courthouse you will need to pay for them.
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If you live or have a case in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas or Sarasota counties, we may be able to help.