All parents in Central Florida have a duty to support their children, however, divorcing couples and unwed parents often face challenges resolving child support issues. If you are seeking to establish, modify, or enforce a child support order, turn to Patriot Legal Group.
We have a working knowledge of the applicable child support laws and state guidelines and a proven history of resolving disputes through negotiation and litigation. As a Veteran-owned law firm, we are committed to serving our clients with the highest standards of professional excellence.
When you become our client, your case will be handled by an experienced family law attorney. We all want what’s best for our children, but reaching an agreement about child support payments can be challenging. Contact our office today to learn how we can help.
How is child support determined in Florida?
The first thing to know is that courts make child support determinations based on the custody and time-sharing agreement. This means that the noncustodial parent is required to make support payments to the parent with primary custody. If custody is shared, however, the number of overnights children have with each parent will be considered.
In any event, Florida’s child support guidelines take into account several factors, including:
- The income and earning capacity of both parents
- The children’s standard of living during the marriage
- The cost of education, daycare, healthcare, and extracurricular activities
But these are only guidelines, and the court may deviate from them by 5 percent if necessary based on factors such as:
- Extraordinary medical or educational costs
- Seasonal variations in either parent’s income
- The children’s age
- Expenses for a child with special needs
- The child’s independent income, if any
- The parent’s total assets
- Changes in the time-sharing arrangement
- Other considerations to make payments equitable
At Patriot Legal Group, we regularly handle matters in both divorce cases and paternity actions. We know that no two families are the same and will work closely with you to find a solution that best suits your needs.
Our divorce attorneys are highly adept at resolving complex cases involving parents with undisclosed income, parents who are self-employed, and parents who have failed to live up to their child support obligations. Trust our legal team to help you obtain the financial resources you need to care for your children.
In Florida, both the payer and recipient of child support can ask the court for a modification as long as there has been a significant change in circumstances, such as:
- A significant loss of income by either parent resulting from an involuntary job loss, hospitalization, or disability
- An increase in income due to a promotion, new job, or other circumstances that change the calculation
- A decrease in the children’s care expenses, for example, daycare no is longer necessary
- The child becomes emancipated
However, a child support modification will only be granted if the modified amount is at least 15 percent more or less than the previous amount (or $50 per month, whichever is greater). If you are seeking a child support modification, we will guide you through the process and make sure your children’s interests are protected.
When a parent obligated to pay child support fails to do so, the court may move to enforce the order. Actions the court can take include:
- A wage garnishment (ordering payments to be automatically deducted from the paying parent’s paycheck)
- Placing a lien on real property
- Seizing savings and checking accounts
A repeat offender may also be held in contempt, resulting in a prison sentence and fines. The courts are reluctant to incarcerate a deadbeat parent, however, because he or she will then not be able to earn the necessary income to comply with the child support order.
Contact Our Dedicated Central Florida Child Support Attorneys
Whether you are considering a divorce or establishing paternity, our legal team will work with you to navigate Florida’s complicated child support guidelines. We regularly represent mothers, fathers, members of the LGBTQ community, Veterans, and non-Veterans. We treat all of our clients with the dignity and respect they deserve. Determining the amount and timing of child support can be complicated. Trust our Veteran attorneys to take the stress out of the process and make sure your children’s interests are protected. Contact our office today to set up an appointment.
Patriot Legal Group proudly serves clients throughout Florida, including Central Florida locations in and around our offices in Orlando, Tampa, and Auburndale. The counties around our offices include Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Brevard, Volusia, Polk, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Flagler, and Pasco.