Orlando Divorce Lawers Determining Child Support Issues
In Florida, child support amounts are governed by statute. However, calculating an accurate support award can still be a challenge. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping parents obtain, modify, and enforce child support awards in the Orlando area.
Whether you are going through a divorce or simply need to deal with child support, understanding how Florida’s support laws apply to your personal situation is critical to ensuring a fair child support award. At McMichen, Cinami & Demps, we have more than 50 years of combined experience helping mothers and fathers deal with child support issues in the Orlando area. If you need to seek child support, if you need to make sure that your child support obligation is fairly calculated, or if you need to modify or enforce an existing child support award, call our experienced family law attorneys for help today.
Child Support in Florida
In Florida, as in other states, child support obligations are established by court order. If you are going through a divorce, you and your spouse may be able to agree on a support amount; or, if there are issues with calculating child support (for example, if your spouse is hiding income), you may need to go to court. In either case, our attorneys can work side-by-side with you to make sure you receive an appropriate award or obligation.
In most cases, child support continues until the child’s eighteenth birthday. The court order awarding child support will state the amount to be paid each month, and if the order covers multiple children, it will specify the amount and end date for support for each individual child. Note, however, that parents can agree to a different end date for child support, and courts can also award extended support for (i) children with physical or mental disabilities, and (ii) children who are still in high school through age 19.
The Florida Child Support Guidelines
Florida’s child support laws include a comprehensive set of guidelines for determining each parent’s financial obligations. The child support guidelines will be controlling in most instances, but courts have the ability to increase or reduce child support awards by up to five percent “after considering all relevant factors”. In exceptional cases, they can order even greater deviations if an award based on the guidelines’ calculation “would be unjust or inappropriate.”
There are four main factors that come into play with the Florida child support guidelines. These are:
The parents’ incomes
Child care cost
Calculating Child Support: The Parents’ Incomes
The parents’ respective incomes are important factors when calculating child support awards in Florida. As a result, in order to ensure that you receive a fair support award (or are not required to pay too much in child support), you need to make sure that you have as much information as possible about you and your partner’s income. This includes:
Wages, salary, and overtime
Commissions and tips
Disability, Social Security, and workers’ compensation benefits
Spousal support from a prior marriage
Retirement and investment income
Income from trusts and estates
Calculating income can often be one of the most challenging issues when it comes to determining child support. Our attorneys can help make sure that your spouse is not hiding income and that you accurately disclose the right information about your personal financial circumstances.
Calculating Child Support: Child Care
The next major factor in calculating child support is the cost of child care for employment purposes. This child care cost will be factored into the guidelines with each parent responsible for their proportional share.
Calculating Child Support: Time-Sharing
The parents’ time-sharing schedule will factor into the determination of child support as well. However, it is important to note that the parent with the majority of time sharing will not necessarily be the parent to receive child support. Substantial sharing of overnights (over 20 percent) also impacts the child support award.
Calculating Child Support: Health Insurance
The fourth major factor for most parents when calculating child support is health insurance. This includes medical, dental and vision insurance. You will want to make sure you have all relevant information in order to ensure a fair order of child support.
Contact McMichen, Cinami & Demps | Child Support Lawyers in Orlando
At McMichen, Cinami & Demps, we represent parents in child support matters throughout the Orlando, FL area. To learn more about enforcing your rights and to get help making sure that you receive a fair child support award, call (407) 898-2161 or contact us for a consultation today.