Divorces can be messy, especially if children are involved. The decisions affecting the care, custody, and support of the children are some of the most important determinations that a court will make in a divorce or dissolution proceeding. These issues are also some of the most contested and emotional aspects of a divorce, as both parents feel equally entitled to their children. Should you need legal advocacy in this regard, consider contacting a Florida child support lawyer at CPLS, P.A.
Florida Child Support Laws
Under Florida law, both parents have a duty to provide financial support for the children throughout the marriage and after the divorce. These obligations continue for both parents even if one parent is granted full physical or legal custody of the children until the child’s 19 birthday or until the child finishes high school in Florida, whichever occurs first.
The amount and duration of child support payments are incorporated in a document issued by the court called a child support order. Since the child support order is calculated using a standard mathematical formula, it is one of the most straightforward determinations that the court will make in a divorce. However, both parties need to be honest and open about their financial positions and the needs of their children to ensure that any child support award is fair to the children and both parents.
Parties may feel like they got a bad deal when they are required to make ongoing child support payments, especially if they will cause a financial strain on the paying party. During this time, it’s important remember that the child support payments are for benefit of your children, and not your ex-spouse.
Factors That Affect Child Support in Florida
Even if you and your spouse agree on child support payments outside of court, the court must still approve it. Courts look to the needs of the children, and the financial capability of the parents to meet those needs. Court will not approve a child support agreement that does not adequately provide for the children, or causes undue hardship on either parent. In addition to the parents’ income and expenses, courts will look at other factors including:
- The needs of the children
- The income and needs of the custodial parent
- The noncustodial parent’s ability to pay
- The standard of living the child has become accustomed to prior to the divorce
Modification of Child Support
In some cases a Florida child support order may be modified temporarily or permanently, depending on the circumstances. Some factors that may warrant the modification of a child support order include: additional income from remarriage; cost of living increases; a child’s medical emergency; inability to pay, because of death, disability, illness, job loss; and other factors.
Contact a Florida Child Support Attorney Today
An experienced Florida child support attorney at CPLS can help you understand the child support process, and help you get what’s best for you and your children. There are a number of details that are often overlooked by persons attempting to handle their divorce without the help of an attorney, which can have substantial financial implications. Additionally, it’s important to understand the tax treatment of child support payments for both the paying and the receiving parties.
If you’re seeking representation in a divorce or dissolution of your marriage, contact us at 407.647.7887 or 877.647.7887 to speak with a Florida child support attorney today.