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Cooperation, if Possible, is Best in Child Support Modifications

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Child Support on Thursday, August 1, 2013.

Following a dissolution of a marriage, the separated couple determine an agreement that will indicate who will get what, who will make payments to the other, and if children are involved, the custody of the children. Divorced couples in Florida understand that these agreements may have to be altered after the divorce due to life changes. Modifications are available to former spouses in certain circumstances and options such as mediation by a trained a professional exist to help parties reach consensus and stay out of court.

Child support modifications can be available to either part. That means that either the party receiving child support or the party that provides monthly payments could show good cause to alter that payment agreement. A modification is based on a request for changed circumstances of one of the parties. The nature of the process can be dependent on the cooperation of the parties.

The parties can seek to litigate the modification request in court, which could mean substantial cost. The parties could also seek to engage in alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, to help try to resolve differences more expeditiously.

As is often the case for any parent in divorce-related issues, the cooperation of the parties or lack there of, can affect how the process will transpire. The loss of a job or a change in household income can trigger the need to request a child support modification. A party can request to have the child support payments lowered or raised based on a change in circumstances. The parties must either agree to the change or a judge can make a determination based on the details of the request.

This alternative process can move more quickly than if it were in court. Moreover, it will be more cost efficient. Professionals trained in mediation may be able to aid the couple so that both party's needs are met while the best interests of the child are preserved. Through this process, the parties may be able to reach an agreement that all parties can live with.

With a spirit of cooperation, sometimes difficult to achieve in child support situations, all the parties may find themselves better off in the end. A trained professional can help guide parties through the process to reach an amicable and sometimes less-costly outcome that is agreeable to all.

Source: HuffingtonPost, "Which Would You Choose -- Mediation or Litigation - When Seeking Child Support Modification?" Diane L. Dinois, July 30, 2013

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