Long, Murphy & Zung, P.A.

Do you have a case for a good fortune child support adjustment?

When people typically request adjustments or modifications to child support, it has to do with a decrease in income. Losing a job, retiring, getting sick and many other factors can impact how much a non-custodial parent can feasibly pay in child support each month. When that happens, they file a modification request with the courts, who then review the original child support amount.

However, there is another situation which demands a reconsideration of child support, which is sudden good fortune. So-called "good fortune" child support requests have to do with an increase in assets or income by the parent paying child support. The courts do periodically review income and support amounts, but if it will be some time before your support levels come up for review, it may be time to request a modification.

How Florida courts determine a fair amount of support

The courts do consider a variety of factors when setting child support amounts. They will look at the income of both parents, the custody situation, costs associated with education, child care and health needs for the children, as well as the standard of living the family has come to expect during the marriage.

The amount set during your divorce reflected the income of both you and your spouse at the time. If your spouse's monthly income has since tripled, however, the courts may very well consider increasing his or her support obligations to reflect that higher level of income. That can help ensure that your children receive adequate support for their needs, from school supplies and new clothing to health care and even a college savings fund.

New jobs, promotions and lottery winnings are all reasons to file

If your ex has taken a lucrative new job that provides a much higher rate of pay, accepted a promotion or simply gotten a major pay raise or corporate bonus, that could be a reason to consider requesting more child support. Large lottery winnings are another consideration, even if they are rare. Your children deserve a fair and reasonable amount of support from both parents.

For non-custodial parents, part of that support comes in the form of financial child support. Your ex continuing to pay an amount based on substantially lower income simply isn't fair to your children. In cases where the amount ordered may seem excessive because of the high level of income, the courts can create a "good fortune" trust.

These trusts receive funds beyond what is a reasonable amount for day-to-day support for the children. The children receive access to the trust when they are no longer dependent minors. This can provide a means for funding college, starting a business or just moving out into the world as an independent adult.

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