Do you need help with a legal matter involving child support? Whether you are the parent seeking child support, have been ordered to pay child support or are currently considering divorce, an experienced attorney at Orner Law, LLC can meet with you to discuss your options. Your initial consultation with a South Florida child support lawyer at our firm is free, and this will be a valuable opportunity for you to gain a better understanding of your rights, responsibilities, and options in this regard.
Our experienced legal team assists clients who are dealing with any child support-related matter. We help parents having problems getting previously agreed upon or ordered child support payments from their ex-spouses as well as parents who are facing divorce and therefore the necessity of working out child custody and support matters. Because of our expansive knowledge on the subject of family law, our attorneys are able to assist our clients in reaching case resolutions that are best for them and their children as well.
CHILD SUPPORT IN FLORIDA
One of the most common questions our divorce and custody clients have is “How much child support will my (ex) spouse be ordered to pay?” In Florida, child support amounts are determined based off the combined income of both parents and the number of children the parents are responsible for supporting. Although child support is determined based on guidelines established by the Legislature, there are additional factors that can influence the final amount that a parent is ordered to pay. These include:
- Anticipated daycare expenses
- The cost of the child’s health insurance
- Any extraordinary expenses for the minor children
The majority of child support awards fall within the guidelines. In fact, if a judge orders an amount that is more than five percent above or below the applicable guideline, he or she must make specific findings in order to support that decision.
In 2011, the Legislature changed Florida’s child support laws as applied to parents who were seen as trying to evade their child support obligations by:
- electing not to work or being voluntarily “underemployed”; that is, who working at jobs below their qualifications when better-paying ones are available.
- refusing to participate in the child support proceeding; or
- not providing adequate financial disclosures
Previously, Florida courts would typically “impute” to such a parent an amount equal to the current minimum wage; that is, for purposes of calculating child support under the guidelines, the parent was presumed to have that minimal income (though he or she could attempt to overcome, or “rebut”, this presumption in court). The 2011 amendment changed the amount of “imputed” income in these cases to the median income of full-time, year round workers, a significantly higher figure in most cases.
It is important that your interests are properly represented and your financial situation is properly communicated to the court. One of the experienced attorneys at Orner Law, LLC may be able to help you with this. If you fail to pay court-ordered child support, the court has the power to issue an Income Deduction Order requiring your employer to withhold the amount you owe from your paycheck and pay it to the state for distribution to the child’s other parent or guardian. In addition, if the court determines that you have the present ability to pay support but have failed to do so, it can find you in contempt, which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail.
With offices in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, Orner Law, LLC serves clients throughout South Florida.
Our firm also assists clients with the modification and enforcement of child support orders. Contact a South Florida child support attorney at our firm today!