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What Is A Motion To Deviate From Child Support Guidelines In Florida?

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If your divorce involves children, you may have heard that you have the option of filing a Motion to Deviate from Child Support Guidelines, also known as Family Law Form 943. But what does this motion mean, and what can it help you accomplish?

As you may know, parents’ child support obligations are determined based on guidelines that are supposed to make calculations of child support fair. However, those guidelines may not be appropriate in all cases, which is why a parent may need to file a Motion to Deviate from Child Support Guidelines.

As its name implies, the motion can be filed to ask the court to deviate from state guidelines outlined in Fla. Stat. § 61.30. Florida courts allow you to file the motion to increase or decrease a child support obligation.

Consult with an Orlando child support attorney to determine whether or not you can benefit from filing a Motion to Deviate from Child Support Guidelines in your particular case.

Choosing a Reason for Deviation from Child Support Guidelines

You cannot ask a Florida court to deviate from the guidelines simply because you are not satisfied with the court’s child support order. Instead, you need to specify a valid reason to justify a deviation from the guidelines to convince the court to order a payment different from the presumptive amount determined pursuant to the guidelines.

Reasons to justify a deviation from child support guidelines are different depending on whether you are seeking an increase or decrease in the ordered payments. You may be able to ask for an increase in child support if you can prove that:

  • The child’s extraordinary medical or education needs require more expenses than it was calculated using state guidelines;
  • The parent who was ordered to pay child support has more financial assets or income that was not properly accounted for; or
  • The receiving parent is not able to meet the basic needs of the child.

You may be able to ask for a decrease in child support if you can prove that:

  • The receiving parent has significant financial assets or income that was not properly accounted for;
  • The parent would be required to spend over 55% of their gross income to comply with a child support order; or
  • The agreed-upon parenting plan has significantly reduced the receiving parent’s child-related expenses.

You Need an Attorney to Ask for a Deviation from Guidelines

Asking a court to deviate from child support guidelines is a tricky matter because Florida courts presume that their guidelines are appropriate to ensure that child support orders are fair. For this reason, you may need to work with an experienced attorney when filing a Motion to Deviate from Child Support Guidelines to ensure that you can present convincing evidence to the court.

The burden of proof is on the parent asking the court to deviate from state guidelines, which is why it is essential to collect the necessary evidence to prepare a strong claim. Speak with our child support attorney at the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., to discuss your particular case today. Call 407-521-7171.

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