Florida’s public policy states that each parent has a “fundamental obligation” to support his or her child until the child becomes an adult or is emancipated. In Florida, the amount of child support owed by one parent to another is calculated using specific variables that are entered into a worksheet. For example, each parent’s income, the number of overnights that each child spends with each parent, and the child’s insurance costs are just some of the variables that affect the amount of child support that one party may owe to the other.
Once the child support guideline’s amount is established, it is presumed that the court will order this amount be paid from one parent to the other. However, a judge may deviate from the guideline amount, depending on certain circumstances and findings. Additionally, an order requiring a parent to make child support payments must also include a provision for health insurance for each minor child, and a provision for termination of child support upon the child turning 18 (with certain exceptions).
If the court has already entered an order requiring one parent to pay child support, then either parent may petition the court for modification of that order. The parent seeking to modify the amount of child support must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances or other qualifying circumstance. The modification must also be in the best interests of the child.
What does the court consider “income?” What if my child’s other parent is making less money than s/he can and should be making? What factors will the court consider when determining what is in a child’s “best interests?” These are just some of the many questions you might have about child support as it relates to your family law case. At Nicole L. Goetz, P.L. we have the knowledge and experience to answer these questions and guide you through the complex legal system in order to determine whether and how much child support will be ordered in your case. If you have questions, would like to receive more information, or need an attorney to stand by your side through the case or for limited purposes relating to this difficult and oftentimes complicated process, please call our office in Naples, Florida to schedule a confidential consultation with our attorneys.