Get The Financial Support You Need to Care For Your Child
Child support can be a complex and confusing issue, especially for parents who are going through a divorce or separation. There are many factors that can affect the amount of child support that is owed, such as the incomes of both parents, the number of children involved, and the amount of time that each parent spends with the children.
This is where Perez-Calhoun Law Firm, P.A. comes in. An experienced Orlando child support attorney can help you with all aspects of child support, including:
- Understanding your rights and obligations under Florida law
- Negotiating or modifying a child support order
- Enforcing a child support order
- Defending yourself against allegations of child support non-payment
Here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know from this page:
- Understanding Child Custody: Florida law uses terms like “parental responsibility” (formerly legal custody) for decision-making about the child’s upbringing and “time-sharing” (previously physical custody) that determines the amount of time the child spends with each parent.
- Determining Child Custody: The court considers various factors including parenting skills, child’s wants and needs, stability, parental roles, health, and moral character when determining child custody in Florida.
- Modifying Custody Orders: Child custody orders can be modified if there’s a substantial change in circumstances affecting the child, the other parent, or yourself.
- Enforcing Custody Agreements: When one parent doesn’t adhere to the custody order, legal action may be necessary, and an experienced family law attorney is essential for resolution.
If you are facing any child support issues, contact an experienced Orlando child support attorney today. They can help you get the support you need for your children and protect your rights as a parent.
What is Child Support?
Child support is a payment that one parent makes to another parent to help pay for the costs of raising their child. It’s usually paid by the parent who doesn’t have primary custody of the child, but it can also be paid by the parent who has primary custody if they make more money.
Child support can be used to pay for all sorts of things, like food, clothing, housing, healthcare, childcare, and education. It’s important to note that child support is not meant to be a replacement for the love and affection of a parent. It’s simply meant to help provide for the basic needs of the child.
What Factors Affect Child Support in Florida?
Child support in Florida is calculated using the income shares model. This means that the court will try to figure out how much money the parents would have spent on their children if they were still together. Then, the court will divide that amount between the parents based on their incomes.
It’s important to understand how child support is calculated so that you’re prepared for the court’s decision. Here are some of the factors that the court will consider:
When the court calculates child support payments in Florida, the first thing they look at is how much money each parent makes. This includes wages, salaries, investments, and other sources of income, like Social Security or disability benefits.
The court also considers how much money each parent could make if they were working full-time, even if they’re not currently employed. This is called potential income.
Number of children
The number of children involved in the case is another important factor. For example, if there are two kids, each parent will usually pay half of the total child support amount. But if there are three kids, the court may order one parent to pay more than the other, depending on their incomes and other factors.
Parenting time, or how much time each parent spends with the child, can also affect child support payments. In general, parents who have more parenting time (physical custody) will pay less child support than parents who have less parenting time (legal custody). This is because parents with more physical custody are considered to be providing more care and financial support for the child.
How is Child Support Calculated in Florida?
- Calculate each parent’s monthly net income. Within 45 days of filing for child support, both parents must fill out a financial affidavit. This form asks about your income and expenses. There are two forms: one for parents with incomes under $50,000 and one for parents with incomes over $50,000.
- Determine your combined available monthly income. Add together the monthly net incomes of both parents.
- Determine each parent’s percentage of responsibility. Divide your net income by the combined net income and multiply by 100 to get your percentage of financial responsibility.
- Determine the primary monthly obligation. Look at the Florida Child Support Guidelines Worksheet and find the table with the combined monthly income in the first column. This will show you your primary monthly obligation.
- Calculate each parent’s obligation. When determining each parent’s obligation, you need to consider how much time each parent spends with the children. If one parent has less than 20% of the time-sharing (less than 73 nights per year), then use the standard primary monthly obligation. If both parents have at least 20% of the time-sharing (73+ nights), then multiply the primary obligation by 1.5 to account for the needs of two households. Then, multiply each parent’s percentage of responsibility (from step 3) by the primary or increased obligation amount to determine their financial contribution.
- Adjust the obligation based on time-sharing responsibilities. If one parent has less than 20% of the time-sharing responsibilities, you can skip this step. Otherwise, multiply each parent’s share of the increased primary responsibility (determined in step 5) by the other parent’s time-sharing percentage to get their adjusted monthly obligation.
- Make adjustments for other expenses. To calculate each parent’s share of childcare and health expenses, add up the total monthly cost of these expenses. Then, multiply each parent’s share of the total cost by their percentage of responsibility (from step 3). If one parent pays more than their share, the extra amount should be shifted to the other parent’s obligation.
- Determine the monthly payment amount. The parent with the higher adjusted monthly obligation will be the payor parent. To determine the monthly payment amount, subtract the lower obligation from the higher obligation.
How Long Does Child Support Last?
Most of the time, child support payments continue until the child turns 18. The court order will say how much money needs to be paid each month.
If the court order covers more than one child, it will say how much money needs to be paid for each child and when the payments need to end. Parents can agree to a different end date for child support if they want to.
Courts can also order parents to pay child support for longer if:
- The child has a physical or mental disability.
- The child is still in high school and is not expected to graduate before they turn 19.
Can Child Support be Changed?
Yes, child support can be changed if there’s a substantial change in you or your ex’s situation. To do this, you’ll need to show the court that there has been a significant change in circumstances since the order was put in place. This change could be related to the child, the other parent, or yourself.
There are lots of reasons why a parent might ask to change the order, such as:
- If the parent paying support makes less money.
- If the parent receiving support makes more money.
- If either parent or child has a major medical emergency.
- If the cost of living goes up.
- If the parent paying support declares bankruptcy.
If you’re thinking about going to court to decide who gets custody of your child in Orlando, Florida, it’s important to have a lawyer who knows child custody law. Child custody cases can be complicated and have a big impact on your child’s life. A lawyer can help you understand the process and protect your rights.
Why Do I Need a Child Support Attorney in Orlando?
If you want to make sure that your child’s needs will be met or that you’ll be paying your fair share of child support, it’s important to talk to a lawyer who knows about child support law. Child support cases can be complicated and have a big impact on your finances and your child’s life. A lawyer can help you understand the process and protect your rights.
Here are some reasons why you should hire our Orlando family law attorney for your child support case:
- Experience: Our lawyer has a lot of experience handling child support cases. This means they know what challenges you may face and how to deal with them.
- Knowledge of the law: Our lawyer knows Florida child support law inside and out. This means they can make sure your rights are protected and your child gets the fairest possible outcome.
- Negotiation skills: Our lawyer is a skilled negotiator. This is important because most child support cases are settled outside of court. A skilled negotiator can help you reach an agreement that’s fair to you and your child.
- Compassion: Child support cases can be emotionally difficult. Our lawyer is compassionate and understanding. They will listen to your concerns and support you through this difficult time.
If you’re thinking about going to court for child support, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We will review your case and develop a personalized plan to help you achieve your goals.
Call our Orlando Custody Lawyer Now!
If you are facing child support issues, you need an experienced attorney on your side. At Perez-Calhoun Law Firm, P.A., we have the knowledge and experience to help you get the best possible outcome in your case.
We understand that child support cases can be complex and emotionally charged. Our attorneys are here to support you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
We have a proven track record of success in child support cases. We have helped clients obtain and modify child support orders, enforce child support payments, and defend against child support claims.
If you are facing child support issues, contact us today for a consultation. We will review your case and discuss your options with you. We are here to help you protect your rights and your child’s needs.