Parents who are no longer together are often reasonably justified in their concern over who pays child support and how much will be paid. Even though most parents want what is best for their kids, balancing a child’s welfare and the supporting parent’s ability to meet expectations can be challenging. Both issues are legitimate.
Brandon Legal Group represents parents in Child Support cases while defending the kids’ best interests and parents involved in upholding parental rights. It takes expertise to obtain custody, especially in contentious custody disputes.
What Child Support Is For
The goal of Child Support is to guarantee the child an adequate standard of living when parents no longer live together. The assistance may cover the following costs:
- meals served in schools
- extracurricular activities,
- tutoring, and other educational costs
- medical costs, such as deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses, and uninsured care
- activities outside of the classroom, such as summer camps, music lessons, and entertainment
An experienced lawyer in the area could decide how to correctly factor these costs into the child support calculation and ensure that all pertinent information is considered.
Child Support Considerations
Florida’s child support regulations set a minimum amount to be paid in child support. The amount is calculated using a variety of variables, including income levels, earning potential, the number of children, and others. After compiling and presenting evidence to the court, a Brandon Legal Group can suggest changing the child support calculator’s recommendation by up to 5% from the baseline. In addition, Brandon Legal Group is skilled at investigating and presenting data that could lead to further increases or decreases in the initial child support calculations.
To calculate support, the parents’ combined monthly income must be considered. It is, therefore, crucial to accurately determine each parent’s income. Fourteen different types of payments are regarded as “income” for child support under Florida Statutes 61.30(2)(a), including:
- overtime, and tips
- business earnings
- benefits for unemployment, social security, worker’s compensation, or disabilities
- support for the spouse from a prior union
- dividends and interest
- rental income or ongoing property gain
- income from estates, trusts, or royalties
It can be challenging to estimate a parent’s income accurately, mainly if the parent receives compensation from multiple sources, has complicated self-employment earnings, or makes an effort to conceal income. The attorneys at Brandon Legal Group ensure that all sources are found by looking at a parent’s tax returns, business records, and bank statements.
How is Child Support Calculated If Only One Parent Is Working?
A court may impute income to a voluntarily unemployed or underemployed parent deliberately trying to have less income to inflate the other parent’s Child support obligation. In this case, a judge can determine the parent’s potential income by considering their most recent employment history, professional qualifications, and the salaries of people with comparable qualifications.
The burden of demonstrating that the other parent is voluntarily unemployed falls on the party asking for income imputation. The necessary evidence could be presented to a judge with the help of a child support attorney.
Enforcing Child Support Orders
To enforce child support orders, Florida courts employ a variety of strategies, including:
- suspending the parent’s professional or driver’s license for failing to pay
- placing the parent under court order for contempt, which may result in imprisonment
- securing a mortgage against the parent’s property
Taking child support out of a parent’s paycheck or diverting tax refunds to the parent receiving support is known as garnishing a parent’s earnings or refunds.
In Florida, there is no time limit on how long child support must be paid, so a parent may continue to pursue compliance even after their child turns 18.
Child Support Basics, Conclusion
Florida’s child support rules are complex but indispensable to ensuring that children of separated or divorced parents have the financial support they need. It is important for those affected by these laws, both parents and guardians, to take the time to understand and review their rights and responsibilities. Non-compliance with the law can result in serious legal consequences for parents who fail to meet their obligations. The importance of having accurate information about state laws governing child support cannot be understated.