Does a Child Working Affect Child Support Modification in Florida?

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Often, a minor child will get a part time job at 15 or 16 years of age to earn extra spending money. The child may even school and start working full time. Depending on the circumstances of the situation, the child working may affect child support modification in Florida. If the child is working part time for extra spending money, and makes little pay over a month's time, especially if the work is seasonal, the change in circumstances is typically not enough to warrant modification of child support.

Nonage

  • Typically, child support stays in effect while a minor child is under the age of 18, or, if the child has a reasonable expectation of graduating high school before he turns 19, until the minor child graduates high school, unless the minor child becomes otherwise emancipated. If a child has a mental or physical disability, the court may order child support until the child reaches 21 years of age.

Becoming Emancipated

  • If a minor child marries or enters the service prior to her 18th birthday, the child is emancipated and child support ceases. The child may also request the courts emancipate her, should she decide to move out of her parent's home and work full time, whether she quits school or not. In this case, working does affect modification of child support. The supporting parent is no longer supporting the child --- the child is supporting herself, thus you can petition the court to vacate the child support order.

Part Time Employment

  • If a minor child obtains part time employment, and benefits of that employment are temporary --- the work is seasonal --- and the child is still under the care and guidance of his parents, child support is not usually modified. The amount brought into the household is usually not enough to request a modification of the guidelines, which takes an unexpected, permanent change in circumstances.

Volunteer Employment

  • Often, a minor child will take volunteer employment for a school project or because he wants to find out if a specific field is for him. When your child works as a volunteer, even if it is on a long-term basis, you cannot modify child support, as no income is coming into the household from the fruits of your child's labor.

Modification

  • If you think your child is working and the work is permanent, you must apply to the court to modify child support. If the court determines the child's work is enough to support herself, and that it is found to be permanent in nature --- or at least long-term, past the child's 18th birthday, the court may modify child support based on the income the child brings into the house. Whether the court modifies child support or not is at the discretion of the court. The court will take the child's schedule, your income and your ex-spouse's financial situation into consideration when making the determination to modify child support.

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