South Florida Child Support Lawyers
If you have been through a divorce or other child custody dispute, you could be facing the prospect of child support payments. Whether you are the paying or receiving party, it is important for the child support order to fairly reflect both parties incomes and be calculated after a correct application of the Florida Child Support Guidelines. For help negotiating, contesting, or enforcing a child support award in South Florida, call the seasoned child support legal team at the Law Office of Scott Glassman, P.A.
Calculating Child Support in Florida
Child support in Florida is calculated based on a formula established by the Florida Legislature. The child support will be calculated according to the Florida child support guidelines. Five primary factors affect the child support owed:
- The total net income of each parent from all sources (wages/salary, bonuses, workers’ compensation, retirement income, investment income, etc.). Appropriate deductions from gross income are defined by statute in Florida.
- The number of children
- The costs of child care
- The parties’ time-sharing arrangement
- Health insurance cost
Although the process is a bit more complex, here is a simplified look at how it works: The parents’ combined net income (income less certain expenses) and number of children will determine the total combined child support owed according to the child support guidelines chart. The amount from the chart will be then allocated between the parents, proportionate to their respective incomes and the cost of medical insurance after/daycare will be taken into consideration. If there is significant time-sharing between the parents (more than 20 percent of the nights are spent with each parent), additional calculations will be made.
The Court has authority to deviate from guidelines child support under a limited range of circumstances. Talk to a knowledgeable Florida child support lawyer for a better understanding of how child support can and should be calculated in your case.
Duration of Child Support in Florida
Child support in Florida typically ends when the child turns 18; however, the support obligation may continue until a child graduates high school if graduation prior turning 19 is reasonably contemplated. Florida Courts will not extend child support through college if the parties do not agree. Florida Courts may extend child support indefinitely, however, if the child is dependent in fact because they are significantly developmentally disabled or otherwise have significant special needs.
A support order will contain terms defining when your child support obligation will end. If you pay your support through the State of Florida, or if your child support is being taken out of your wages through garnishment, you might need to obtain an additional Court Order terminating your support obligation so that the depository and your employer appropriately stop charging you support. Talk to a seasoned child support attorney about your obligation and your circumstances for help ending your child support payments.
What if My Ex is Not Paying Child Support?
If your ex is refusing to pay child support, talk to your family law and child support enforcement attorney. The paying parent has a legal obligation to pay Court-Ordered child support, and failing to do so can open them up to a number of penalties. Your attorney can seek to have their wages deducted from their pay to have them held in contempt of Court. If a parent is held in contempt, they can be subject to a purge payment, have an income deduction Order entered, be sanctioned, and in certain circumstances be arrested.
Call a knowledgeable child support attorney for assistance with your child support matters.
Modifying Child Support
Although child support is meant to last until the kids turn 18, there could be a change in circumstances that affects either the paying parent’s ability to pay or the child’s needs. If you are the paying spouse, you might be able to request a modification if you experience a financial hardship that affects your ability to continue paying, such as a costly medical event or loss of your job.
If you are the recipient spouse, you might be able to request additional child support should a substantial change in circumstances occur. You may request additional support if you experience a decline in income and need additional support to care for the children, or if your children’s needs have become significantly more expensive (such as if they develop a temporary or long-term medical issue).
Call for Dedicated Legal Help With Your Florida Child Support Matter
The experienced Florida attorneys at the Law Office of Scott Glassman, P.A. have more than 60 years of combined experience assisting Client’s with child support matters. For help fighting for the child support you are owed, modifying child support, protecting your finances, or with other family law matters in Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, or statewide, call the Law Office of Scott Glassman, P.A. at 561-688-5006 today!