In any family law case involving children, whether divorce or paternity, the issue of child support is likely to arise. Florida law dictates that support is the right of the child, not either parent. The law also states that each parent has a legal obligation to financially support their children. As such, Florida Statute, Section 61.13, sets forth both rules and guidelines for establishing a monthly child support amount. These rules can be complex and may require the assistance of a skilled child support lawyer. The Tampa Bay area attorneys at the Family Law Advocates, P.A., are ready to provide you the quality legal representation you deserve for your child support case, including help with the following issues:
- Establishment of Child Support Orders
- Modifications to Existing Child Support Orders
- Child Support and Expense Collection
- Interstate Child Support Cases
In any child support case, our goal is to make sure each client is treated fairly and that a proper support amount is arrived at, whether through settlement or court litigation. We recognize the importance of being able to adequately support your child, and yourself. Regardless of which side of the child support equation you are on, the first step in our process is providing the client with a thorough understanding of their rights and options. From there, we strive to provide exceptional representation at all stages of your case.Why Hire a Child Support Attorney?
The saying goes, “the devil is in the details.” This saying couldn’t be more true when it comes to litigating child support matters. Child support cases can be amicable or highly contested. They can be simple or complex. Issues can arise concerning what counts as income, how time-sharing applies, child related expenses, voluntary unemployment and imputation of income, and more.
Determining a parent’s financial obligation to support their children can be complicated and highly nuanced. What might be viewed as a simple calculation can develop into full-blown litigation regarding these various issues. As such, it can be difficult to impossible for parents to determine these figures on their own. You only get one chance to do this properly from the outset, and that is why hiring the right family law firm to represent your child support case is so critical.
Having an intelligent and highly experienced family law team on your side can make all the difference in obtaining a successful and fair child support order. The experienced child support lawyers at the Family Law Advocates will zealously advocate for you in an effective and efficient manner. Support for children matters to parents. It also matters to us.Florida Law and Child Support
Florida child support generally runs until a child turns 18, though can extend to 19 if a child is still in high school, or beyond if the child has a “disability” necessitating extension past the age of emancipation. Pursuant to Florida statute, child support is calculated based on an array of factors. The primary factors going into a calculation are going to be income, the number of children, and the amount of time-sharing each parent has. However, other factors can have an impact, such as the amount a parent pays for child care, health insurance, or out-of-pocket medical expenses for the child. Calculations are generally going to be based on the statutory child support guidelines. While a family law judge is generally required to follow the guidelines, Florida law allows for judges to deviate by 5%, up or down, based on special circumstances and in some cases, deviation can be in an amount greater than 5%.
Child support litigation often arises due to disagreements regarding what should be included as income for each parent. While statute dictates what counts as income, not all income is evident, particularly in cases with multiple sources and other financial intricacies. Given the potential for argument in these cases, detail matters. So does having the right attorney on your side. In high income cases, the law also provides for increased child support payments based on income above the $10,000 per month net income cap set forth in the guidelines. Likewise, statute may allow the court to attribute, or “impute” income to parents who are voluntarily underemployed, or unemployed.
Time-sharing also plays an integral part in a child support calculation. The more time a child support payor has with the children, the less child support they will generally pay. In cases in which one parent spends little or no time with the children, their monthly payment might actually be set above the guideline amount. Based on the interplay between income and time-sharing, a situation could conceivably exist in which a parent has majority time, yet due to their high income, actually pays the other parent monthly child support.
If a substantial change in circumstances occurs, a parent may seek to modify existing child support orders. Statute generally quantifies this as a change in circumstances which would increase the child support by 15% or $50 per month, which ever is greater. Modifications of child support are usually applied retroactively to the filing of a petition, though retroactivity can apply in situations of changed time-sharing which occur prior to then. The timing of these things matters and can affect your rights and monthly amount owed or received.
When child support order are not followed, the law affords various remedies, including income garnishment and other collection options. The experienced child support attorneys at the Family Law Advocates have combined decades of experience helping men and women with all types of child support cases. Let us put that experience to work for you.Hire the Right Child Support Law Firm
Using our exceptional negotiation and litigation skills, we fight hard to obtain the best possible results for our child support clients. Whether at the settlement table or in the courtroom, our team will diligently represent you while working to secure a child support arrangement that is fair to you.
Years of child support litigation experience allow our attorneys to understand child support laws and what’s needed to effectively advocate for your rights. After we have a firm grasp of your facts and circumstances, your attorney will work to create a customized strategy tailored to those circumstances. If settlement cannot be reached, we will be ready to take your issues to court.We Are Here for You When You Need Us
Whether you find yourself in need of initial child support orders, modifications to those child support orders, or enforcement of existing child support orders, the child support attorneys at The Family Law Advocates are ready to help you.
Call us today at (813) 592-5000, or contact us online to schedule a consultation session with one of the members of our family law team. The Family Law Advocates handle family law cases throughout the Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater area, including divorce, child custody, alimony, and marital property division.