Maitland Child Support Lawyer
Parents have legal rights when it comes to their children, including the right to visitation. There are, however, also obligations that come along with parenthood, including the duty to provide that child with financial support. For couples who are no longer together, this obligation could take the form of a court order, in which one parent is required to pay a certain amount each month to the other parent to help cover the cost of raising the child. For help determining how much you could be required to pay in child support, or to learn more about enforcing an already existing child support order, please reach out to an experienced Maitland child support lawyer today.
How is Child Support Calculated?
In Florida, child support is calculated based on the state’s Child Support Guidelines, which take into account:
- The combined monthly incomes of both parents;
- The number of overnight stays with the child;
- The number of children being supported; and
- The child’s medical, dental, educational, and psychological needs.
In cases involving joint custody, the court will engage in a four step analysis when ordering child support. The first step in this process involves calculating the total amount of child support payments required under the Guidelines. Next, the court will assess each parent’s income and share of the cost by dividing their individual monthly incomes by their combined incomes. The third step requires a determination of the percentage of time the child spends with each parent, after which a judge will again review the Guidelines to determine the proportion of support each party will be responsible for based on the amount of time spent with the child.
What Does Child Support Cover?
While child support could incidentally benefit the non-paying parent, it is intended to provide for the child’s well-being by helping to cover the cost of:
- Food and clothing, including weekly groceries and the cost of school meals, as well as clothes for school and recreation;
- Educational expenses, such as tuition, books, uniforms, supplies, and activities;
- Medical costs, including deductibles, uncovered services, other out-of-pocket costs, and health insurance premiums; and
- Hobbies, activities, and entertainment, such as swimming lessons and summer camps.
If the paying parent determines that the other parent is using child support payments for things other than the care of the child, then he or she can seek a court order barring that individual from similar spending.
Modifying Child Support
It is possible to modify a child support award in Florida. However, to do so, the petitioning parent must be able to prove that a substantial change in circumstances has made a reduction or increase in child support necessary. A job loss, for instance, could necessitate a change in child support, as could one parent spending more overnight visits with the child.
Contact a Dedicated Maitland Child Support Lawyer
To set up a free consultation with an experienced Maitland child support lawyer at Anderson & Ferrin, please call 407-412-7041 today. You can also reach a member of our legal team via online message.