Regardless of whether or not the mother and father of a child have ever been married the financial wellbeing of any minor children they have in common is the responsibility of both parents. Whenever a family lawyer deals with child-related matters, the case will at some stage bring up the issue of child support.
Understanding Child Support
Child support is the amount that must be provided from one parent to the other as per the Florida Child Support Guidelines set out in Florida law. Money paid as support for children is meant to be used to provide for the children concerned. It is not up to the custodial parent to use it for their purposes. This is where things can get complicated and potentially disputes can arise.
Calculating Child Support in Florida
The obligations of Florida child support related to the financial condition of both parties and the time spent with the child by each parent. Parents also, of course, argue on the specifics of support obligations that contribute to litigation.
The Florida child support law lays out the calculation mechanism for child support. Usually, parents with higher net incomes have greater support responsibilities. Payments for child support are not voluntary; they are mandatory and ordered by the courts. In cases where there is joint custody, the court may take into consideration the amount of time the child spends with each parent and the costs incurred. The amount of child care in such cases would usually be lower than in cases where one parent has sole custody or a non-custodial parent has limited visitation.
Child Support Modifications
Often the circumstances of one or both parents change and modification to child support is needed. A loss of income or a lapse in health could happen to the supportive parent. If a child support order is in effect and a parent can establish that there is a major and ongoing shift in conditions, with the help of a family lawyer, they can request for a modification. If there has been a significant and ongoing shift in the circumstances of the parties, the judge will adjust the support order and the modification is in the best interests of the kid. Loss of income due to COVID-19 can qualify as a major and persistent change in circumstances. Changes in parenting time due to the coronavirus outbreak can also cause child care to be modified. The change must require a change of at least 15 percent or $50 in child support, whatever change is greater.
Child Support for Children over the age of 18
Child support is intended to serve as financial support for a small, dependent child in the state of Florida. Child support responsibilities usually cease and are no longer applicable when the minor reaches the age of 18 (unless otherwise contracted) because they are no longer a child. However, there are certain cases where, despite the child reaching the legal age of adulthood, a parent can continue to collect child support payments.
The above 18 children may receive support in the following circumstances:
- The child is mentally challenged/disabled and requires extra support.
- The child is in high school but will graduate before he is 19 years old.
- The parent of the dependent, adult child is the eligible party to request support for that child following Florida Statute 743.07(2) while attempting to modify child support obligations following Florida Statute 743.07(2), despite that child being a legal adult.
Consult with an experienced Florida Child Support Attorney to discuss a Child Support matter
If you need to deal with child support problems, you must understand how Florida’s child support laws relate to your particular situation. If you are worried about late child support payments and eligibility for financial relief from COVID-19, you can address you must contact and discuss your case with our Child Support Attorney in Florida.
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