FAQs About Child Support Orders in Florida
Here in Florida all parents, whether married or not, have a legal obligation to provide for their children. How much a parent is legally required to contribute is determined based on our state’s “Income Shares Model”, which estimates the financial needs of the child and then divides this amount between the parents based on their respective assets and income. This basic premise is fairly straightforward, but in reality child support is a complicated area of the law that can be challenging to understand. Therefore, some frequently asked questions about child support orders in Florida have been answered below, however, it is important to keep in mind that each child support case is unique and that any case specific questions should be directed to a local parenting plan and timesharing attorney.
Q: What is a child support order?
A: A child support order is a court issued award that is used by family law courts in Florida to set the amount of support that parents are required to provide for the care and maintenance of their children. Additionally, these awards can also be used to establish a child’s paternity and to specify medical support obligations.
Q: How much child support are parents in Florida required to pay?
A: The amount of child support that a parent in Florida is required to pay varies depending on the assets and income of both parents. When a Florida family law judge is asked to issue a child support order he/she determines how much financial support each parent is required to contribute based on Florida’s Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines take into account the assets and income of each parent and the child’s support needs (including health and child care costs) in order to determine what amount of child support would be fair given the family’s current circumstances. However, it should be noted that family law judges in Florida can deviate from these guidelines in the interest of fairness.
Q: Can child support orders be modified?
A: Yes, child support orders in Florida can be modified when significant life changes occur that justify such a modification. Qualifying life changes often involve one parent experiencing an unexpected reduction in income (or conversely, experiencing a significant increase in income), contracting an expensive illness, or sustaining an injury that prevents them from working. However, a modification will only be issued if the change in circumstances is significant enough to result in a difference of $50 or 15 percent (whichever is greater) between the paying parent’s previous monthly child support obligation and their newly calculated support obligation using the updated information.
Do You Need Legal Advice?
Here at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg, P.A. we understand how intimately important issues related to child support are to separating couples. That’s why we place the utmost importance on fighting for child support awards that best suit the needs of our clients and their children. For help with a child support matter, or any other family law issue, contact our Boca Raton office today at (561) 288-8620 and schedule a confidential consultation.