Orlando Child Support Lawyer
Florida family law judges recognize the need for both parents to contribute to the financial support of their children. To file for child support in Orlando, financial affidavits from the mother and father must be prepared in order to determine the amount of assistance your children are entitled to under Florida’s guidelines. Often these issues arise when divorce proceedings are started. For children born outside of marriage, both parents still have an obligation; however, it will first be necessary to establish legal paternity before rights to child support, custody or visitation can be determined. Simply being named on the birth certificate is not enough. To help you understand your rights and obligations, our family lawyers do NOT require any payment up-front in order to provide answers to your questions. We provide FREE phone consultations; or, if you prefer, you may use the online form to send us your questions.
Determining the Amount and Responsibility To Pay
As a general rule, the parent with primary custody is entitled to assistance. The law assumes that the parent with whom the child lives will provide the majority of the child’s living expenses. Therefore, the parent who does not have primary custody will usually pay the other parent. Some parents desire to fight for greater custody at the outset in order to limit the amount of child support they must pay. No matter whom the child or children live with, Florida family judges must follow strict guidelines in determining the amount to be paid for each child involved. The payment is based on several factors, including the income of the parents, the number of children and how much time the children stay with each parent. Importantly, the court will look at the number of nights the child is with a parent. When a sleepover occurs – that is considered one day.
Additional factors such as health insurance, education and child care, can alter the amount one parent must pay. You are entitled to a fair support order – whether you are paying or receiving the assistance. While there are reasons to later seek modification, it is best to work with us right from the start to get it right. Raising children is costly – especially when there are special needs – such as emotional, physical or other developmental challenges. All these factors directly influence the judge’s calculation of the correct amount of child support. Certainly, if you have a disabled child you want that child’s assistance and protection to continue beyond the age of majority.
Changing Circumstances: Modification of Child Support
When your children get older, their needs change and it is common to revisit the issue of child support. This is especially true as children spend more time with the non-custodial parent or their living arrangements change to accommodate their education, health or social requirements. When this happens the amount of payments may decrease since the other parent begins to be responsible for a greater amount of the children’s necessities and living expenses. If there is a considerable change, the parent who had been paying support may now be entitled to receive support payments.. There are many situations which may qualify for modification of child support under Florida law.
If you have questions about child support or you believe you may be entitled to a modification, please do not hesitate to call and review your situation with us. The phone consultation is FREE; or, can use the online form To Get Answers To Your Questions.