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Child Support and Failure to Pay

The failure to pay court-ordered child support can lead to a finding of contempt of court if the payor has the financial ability to pay the court-ordered child support.

What happens however, when the payor spouse files a petition for downward modification of the child support obligation, and the recipient of the child support files a motion for contempt?  How will these competing pleadings be handled by the trial court?

A petition for modification of child support should either be heard before or simultaneously with a motion for contempt, in order for the trial court to determine if in fact there is a factual basis to reduce the child support obligation.

If in fact a downward petition for modification of child support is granted, an arrears figure must be calculated from the date the petition for a downward modification was filed, through the date of the hearing.  If there were any delinquencies existing in the payment of child support prior to the date a petition for modification was filed, that amount must be based on the initial court order for support.

More information can be obtained by reading the case of Rosenblum v. Rosenblum, 178 So3d 49 (Florida 1st Dist. Ct. App. 2015), or by calling Palm Beach County divorce attorney Alan R. Burton at 954-295-9222.


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