Central Florida Child Support Attorney
Child support matters can be complex and overwhelming for divorcing spouses, divorced couples, or unmarried parents of a child. Florida law mandates that child support is the obligation of every parent, whether married, divorced, or single. It ensures that a child has an acceptable standard of living for basic needs such as food, clothing, housing, educational expenses, medical costs, and social activities. A parent cannot waive child support obligations.
Mandatory State-Wide Guidelines
The Florida Child Support Guidelines provide a formula for determining how much each parent should contribute financially after divorce or as an unmarried parent. It is based on the parents’ net incomes, the number of children they share, the total childcare and insurance costs, and the number of overnight stays with each parent. When the parents share equal custody, the higher-earning parent will generally pay the lower-earning parent support payments. While the state statutes provide the basic framework for determining child support, there are situations in which a family court judge may approve a deviation from the formula.
Dependable Solutions for Child Support Matters
Child support payments vary on a case-by-case basis. The court has authority when determining the appropriate amount of child support, thus it is critical that you have a knowledgeable and experienced family lawyer on your side. The legal team at The Davies Law Firm, LLC, can lead you through the process of determining the amount of child support that you will receive or pay as part of your divorce or paternity agreement. Attorney Kathleen Davies has been practicing law for thirty-five years and has helped clients with family law issues since 2009. She will protect your interests and work to get you and your family a favorable outcome.
Changing Needs May Require Modifications
Situations may change significantly after a divorce or paternity agreement is made final. To accommodate these changes, the courts allow modifications to the original child support agreement. The parent seeking the change has the burden of proving a change in circumstances. At The Davies Law Firm, LLC, we can help you lower your child support obligations or obtain an order to increase the amount you receive if circumstances warrant it. Legal grounds to change child support must be substantial, permanent, and involuntary. Voluntary changes, such as quitting a job, do not meet the standard for a modification. Valid legal grounds for modification include:
- A change in income of either parent
- Incarceration of a parent
- A change in the child’s needs, such as health care or education
- A parent’s deployment in military service
- Relocation of a parent
- A change in the overnight stays with each parent
Enforcement of Child Support
The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) is the state agency responsible for enforcing child support. Unless a support order is changed, vacated, or terminated by the court that issued the order, it remains legally enforceable. A motion for civil contempt can be filed when a person violates a court order for child support and there is proof of non-payment.
Justifications for Payments in Arrears
There are legally valid reasons for non-payment of child support, such as the loss of a job or the parent being seriously ill or newly disabled. When there is no valid reason for non-compliance, penalties for non-payment of child support may be fines, jail time, garnishing money from income or bank accounts, suspending licenses, placing liens on personal property, or intercepting federal tax refunds.
Seek Immediate Help with a Free Consultation
Attorney Kathleen Davies can guide you during challenging times when filing for divorce, paternity or establishing child support payments. She can take the necessary steps if you are wrestling with a co-parent who is not paying court-ordered support. Our legal team will take action on your behalf.
At The Davies Law Firm, LLC, we represent individuals throughout Central Florida for establishing, modifying, or enforcing child support orders. Our office is located in Cocoa, Florida, and we represent clients throughout Brevard, Orange, Seminole, and Osceola Counties. Our law firm offers a full scope of family law services. Let us review the facts of your case and counsel you on your best steps moving forward. Call 855-688-4713 or fill out our contact form to schedule a Free Consultation.