What Are The Most Important Facts To Know About Child Support In Florida?
When parents do not share an intact relationship, they still have the obligation to provide financial support to their minor children. Some parents never marry, while others are going through divorce. Child support is also an issue in less common situations, such as after annulment of a marriage or during legal separation without divorce. In any case, Florida’s child support statute is clear that both parents have a child support obligation. The goal is to ensure the child enjoys the same lifestyle as if the family lived together under the same roof.
However, there are many other details about child support that you need to know as a parent. Whether you will be paying or receiving amounts for your child’s benefit, you want to ensure fairness in the process. It is wise to trust an Orlando child support lawyer to assist with your case, especially those involving divorce, paternity, or administrative proceedings. You also have an edge when you know the following important facts about child support.
Paternity Must be Established: There is no child support obligation unless paternity has been legally determined, which is a presumption when the child is born to parents who are married. In the case of unmarried parents, it is necessary to establish parentage through:
Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP), in which both parents sign their agreement; OR
A paternity case in court, where DNA will be the primary source of evidence.
You Will Need a Court Order: In most cases, child support is paid through deductions from the payor’s wages. Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) directs the employer to withdraw the designated amount, and it is paid to the recipient. The DOR also allows a payor to submit payments via credit card online. For all child support matters, you will need a court order stating the specifics. An unofficial agreement between parents is not sufficient.
Florida Uses the Income Shares Model: Though both parents owe a child support obligation, there are different methods for calculating the amount. In Florida, the laws establish the income shares approach to child support. The incomes of both parents are considered, rather than just the payor’s earnings. To arrive at an exact figure for child support, lawmakers have enacted statutory guidelines that relate to:
- The number of children being supported;
- The parenting time schedule;
- The standard needs of the child; and,
- The costs of health insurance.
Enforcement and Modifications May Be Necessary: Once initial child support matters are resolved, issues may come up over time. Missed payments may require the recipient to seek enforcement against the non-paying parent. If circumstances change significantly, it may be necessary to modify child support to a higher or lower amount.
Get Additional Details from a Central Florida Child Support Attorney
These facts are important to know, but you can trust our team at Greater Orlando Family Law to handle the details on child support. To learn more about your rights as a parent, please call 407-377-6399 or go online. We can set up a consultation to discuss your case.