How Can I Legally Avoid Paying Child Support in Florida?
Married parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children until they turn 18. That obligation does not go anywhere if the parents get divorced.
But what if one parent does not have sufficient finances to support their child? Can they legally avoid paying child support in Florida? The short answer is, “Yes, but it depends on the circumstances.”
If you want to avoid paying child support without penalties or any negative consequences, schedule a consultation with our Orlando family lawyer at Arwani Law Firm to discuss your options.
4 ways to avoid paying child support in Florida
If you were ordered to pay child support following your divorce or separation, you are legally required to comply with that order. Still, there are four ways to legally avoid paying child support:
- Modifying the existing child support order. If you were ordered to financially support your child, you might have a right to request a modification. However, under Florida law, your case must meet specific requirements to modify a child support order. Under Section 61.30, Florida Statutes, you must demonstrate proof that that has been a substantial change in circumstances in order to alter the support amount or stop paying child support altogether. Two examples of “a substantial change in circumstances” are an involuntary loss of a job and suffering a disabling injury.
- Giving up your parental rights. Although this option may not be ideal for most parents, it’s one of the ways to legally avoid paying child support in Florida. If you wish to voluntarily terminate your parental rights, you will have to follow Florida’s guidelines for surrendering your parental rights. However, you need to understand that once you have given up your parental rights, you not be able to request visitation rights or have any decision-making authority in your child’s life.
- Waiting until your child turns 18. Finally, the fourth way to stop making child support payments is to wait until your child reaches the age of majority. Once your child turns 18, the support agreement will be automatically void unless any special circumstances apply (e.g., your child is disabled or has special needs).
As you can see, while stopping support payments or avoiding to pay child support is rather tricky, it is not entirely impossible. If you would like to explore other options to legally avoid paying child support, contact our attorney. Schedule a free initial consultation with our Orlando child support lawyer at Arwani Law Firm by calling 407-254-0060.