When dealing with a divorce, a principal issue that sometimes stirs debates is the subject of child support. Child support is an ongoing payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or other relationship. At 850-CALL-JOE we offer assistance in legal services for child support in Orlando to guide you through the system. It is our belief that parents have a primary obligation to support their under-age children.
In order make sure you receive fair and efficient settlement of support issues and minimize the need for a lawsuit, the state of Florida provides guidelines that parents and courts use to determine proper child support amounts.
What factors does the court consider in allocating child support payments?
When child support is an issue in a court case, the divorcing parents must file and exchange financial affidavits verifying their individual income and expenses, and complete a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. The courts estimate the monthly costs that would be spent on the children if the family were still united. After determining the total, the payments are then divided between the parents based on their respective incomes and other parental factors, including:
- How many overnights will each parent have the children? If the parent who is not granted primary custody of the children still has more than 40% of the overnights in a year with the child, then that parent’s financial obligation is usually reduced.
- Day care expenses
- Provision of medical and dental insurance
- Uninsured medical payments
In the eyes of the court, your income includes everything from regular wages to commissions, bonuses, alimony, interest-based income streams, worker’s compensation, and pension or retirement benefits.
The court will, however, deduct certain expenses in determining the child support payments:
- Income tax payments
- Health insurance premiums
- Mandatory union dues
- Retirement, Social Security, and Medicare payments
- Court-ordered child support payments from other relationships.
Even if you are being sued for child support or would like to take legal action against a former spouse, you may be able to avoid a court appearance. Our Orlando child support defense attorneys work to settle disputes before the situation becomes out of hand.
Speak with one of our Orlando Child Support attorney Joe Knape for smart and effective legal advice, should you have any questions or worries.