Child support can be a contentious subject. The situations where child support advice may be required are varied. Whether divorcing parties are exploring the need for child support, a single parent is considering whether to apply for modification, or a parent is not receiving court-mandated support, consulting with a qualified Tampa child support attorney can help provide answers during a frustrating situation.
When is Child Support Required in Florida?
First, it’s important to understand when child support is necessary. During a divorce, if there is an income inequality or if one party has full custody of the children, child support may be necessary. Any time a parent is not the primary caretaker of a child, they may be required to pay child support, especially if they earn more than the custodial parent. The notion behind this is that all parents should be responsible for the support of their children.
Child Support Determination Factors
When calculating how much child support a parent will pay, the court system takes into account the income of both parents and the needs of the child or children. Raising children is not an inexpensive task, especially for working parents who may be required to pay for dependent care in addition to health care, activities, clothing, food, and shelter. These factors are all considered determining child support in Florida.
Depending on the monthly income, the guideline schedule in Florida Statute 61.30 is used to ascertain the amount of child support in most cases. Individuals who make more a month and who have more children will generally be required to pay at a higher rate. Judicial discretion may be used to determine a fair child support amount, however, the guidelines provide a good general picture. The main goal is to ensure that a child’s basic needs are being met.
In most cases, child support ends on the child’s 18th birthday unless there is a reason to continue support, such as a health condition that necessitates ongoing care.
Modification to the child support schedule can be sought if a parent experiences an increase or decrease in child-related expenses, if the income of a parent increases significantly, or if the income of a parent decreases significantly. In order to apply for modification, it is necessary to illustrate these changes and any hardships, if appropriate. Doing so is generally easier with the aid of a lawyer.
It’s important to note that child support and alimony are separate issues. While child support is expected to go towards the care of a child or children, alimony aims to assist a former spouse after a divorce. Some divorces will require one party to pay both child support and alimony, others may only require child support. Every case is unique. To get a better understanding of what child support you may be entitled to, speak to a Tampa child support lawyer.
Hiring a Tampa Child Support Lawyer
If you believe you are entitled to child support or have yet to receive court-ordered child support, consult with a Tampa child support lawyer. Having a skilled Tampa child support lawyer on your side can help you navigate the family law system and provide you with the support you need to successfully fight for child support.
A child support lawyer can also help you argue for a modification of your current payments or challenge the established schedule.
Raising children is a difficult task. Financial hardship because of unpaid child support shouldn’t make it harder. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options.