The determination of child support is one that has far-reaching consequences for parents and their children. In some cases, it may be necessary to prove the other parent actually receives more income than he or she has divulged. Divorcing spouses or separating partners with children must have a child support plan to take care of their children’s financial needs.
A child support attorney with The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates can provide the legal advice you need to obtain the support order best suited to you and your child’s situation. We have the legal knowledge and negotiating and trial experience you need to obtain the best possible support order possible. Schedule a consultation with our Gainesville attorneys today.
What Is Child Support?
By definition, child support comprises court-ordered payments intended to ensure the child(ren) is/are cared for and supported with financial means. The non-custodial parent usually makes the payments, which are meant to pay for child-related needs, such as housing, food, clothing, and health insurance. But, child-related expenses can include school tuition, after-school activities, and day care. A family law attorney with The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates can provide legal advice to determine a child support arrangement which will best fit your child’s situation while accounting both for the custodial and non-custodial parents.
How Is Child Support Determined?
In determining child support in Florida, the support amount is calculated using The State of Florida's Child Support Guidelines, which takes into account all income for both parents, including the following.
- Salary Or Wages
- Business Income
- Disability Benefits
- Workers' Compensation
- Social Security Benefits
- Spousal Support
The net income of both parents added to determine the combined household net income. Based on the combined net income, the Child Support Guidelines Chart details the total amount that should be dedicated to child support. To that basic amount, the court may add child care costs, health insurance or expenses, or other costs.
Each parent’s share of the support obligation is determined in proportion to the parent’s percentage share of net income. A parent who earns 40 percent of the total net income would be responsible for 40 percent of the support obligation — further child support guidelines are detailed within Florida Statute § 61.30.
What To Do If You Can’t Pay Child Support
If you are unable to pay child support, contact our child support attorneys. We will assist you in requesting a modification to the child support court order through a petition. If you were to stop paying child support without filing the adequate paperwork, you could be subject to a number of penalties, including suspension of your driver’s license.
Can I Obtain Or Modify A Child Support Order?
Our Gainesville divorce attorneys can help you through all facets of child support during a divorce, including filing to obtain child support and modifying child support orders.
Obtaining Child Support
Sometimes divorcing parents agree to a custody arrangement but disagree over child support. Since child support is court-ordered, a child support lawyer will work with you and if necessary, Florida’s Child Support Enforcement Program to obtain child support.
Modifying Child Support
If a material change in circumstance occurs, such as a change in income, one parent may petition the court to modify the child support agreement. We will help you file the petition and make a compelling argument as to why the modification is required.
Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support
What Is The Purpose Of Child Support?
Child support is a court-ordered provision that requires a non-custodial parent to make payments to the custodial parent in order to meet the financial needs of a child. When couples separate or divorce, the financial status and quality of life experienced by a child may change dramatically. Child support ensures that despite these changes, children have access to necessities, such as food, clothing, education and medical care. Child support may also provide for a child’s extracurricular activities, traveling expenses, and college costs.
Is It Possible To Refuse Child Support?
No. When a court orders child support, it does not matter if you believe that the order is unnecessary. Judges have a reason for ordering child support. It is your responsibility to accept the funds and utilize them to adequately care for your child.
Will I Be Required To Pay Child Support?
If you are divorcing with children, it’s likely that you will be required to pay child support. Once assigned by a court of law, you are legally obligated to make timely and consistent payments.
Is It Possible To Modify Child Support?
Yes. Conditions such as changes in income and/or changes in a child’s needs may result in a modification of child support. Schedule a consultation to further discuss your case.
How Much Child Support Will I Be Ordered To Pay?
The amount of child support will be determined by a court of law based on numerous factors, such as your income and the child’s needs. Generally, courts are required to order the support amount mandated by this section. At his or her discretion, a judge can make a support order that differs up to 5 percent from the statutorily mandated amount after considering all relevant factors. A court may make a support order that differs in excess of five percent if, upon a written finding of fact, the court determines that such an order would be unjust or inappropriate. In contrast, a court may order a different amount of child support if the child is required by court order or mediation to spend a substantial amount of time with one parent. Consider speaking to Gainesville divorce attorneys to gain a deeper understanding of how courts calculate child support.
How Do Courts Calculate Child Support?
Courts will consider a variety of information to determine if child support is necessary, and the amount of child support payments that are necessary. The child’s interests and needs are priorities. Special attention is also focused on the financial statuses of both parents.
Who Determines If I Have To Pay Child Support?
During your divorce, your co-parent/spouse may request child support for the judge’s consideration. The judge makes the governing decision on child support determination, whether child support is requested or not.