Orlando Child Support Attorney
Dedicated to your child’s best interests
As a parent, you have the responsibility to support your child financially until he or she becomes an adult. Sometimes, this financial support must continue into adulthood, such as in cases where the grown child has a mental or physical disability that prevents him or her from working. During a marriage, both parents contribute to a child’s care financially as well as physically and emotionally. When a couple with children divorces, the parent who receives a larger share of parenting time with the child may also receive child support payments from the other parent to cover the costs associated with raising a child.
During divorce and afterward, custody and child support issues often arise that require legal help. Whether a child’s need for medical care increases or income situations change, you want what is best for your child. The Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee can help you deal with child support issues, whether they are part of the initial divorce or later modifications. An experienced Orlando child support attorney can serve your child’s best interests and also protect your rights as a parent.
How child support works in Florida
Florida operates under the Unified Family Court, which is a court system that hears all family law matters. Family Court judges follow established support guidelines but also have the discretion to lower or raise support payments as necessary, such as when a child with a medical condition requires more extensive care than the norm.
Child support attorneys in Orlando calculate support payments based on Florida statutes. The minimum child support needs are part of the calculation and are based on a standard needs table. The table includes estimates for needs such as:
Modifying a Child Support OrderThe total net income of both parents is calculated. For example, a parent who produces 70 percent of the total net income must provide a greater percentage of child support than a parent who produces 30 percent of the total net income. Neither parent has the right to refuse to pay child support. However, the custodial parent with whom the child resides is not required to submit child support payments.
Sometimes, issues like job loss and illness can create financial difficulties for a parent paying child support. When this happens, the parent should seek a modification to his or her child support order as soon as possible. Failing to comply with a child support order can come with significant consequences for a parent, such as wage garnishment or the suspension of his or her driver’s license. If you are unable to meet your child support obligation or anticipate being unable to meet it, work with an attorney to modify your child support order.
To modify a child support order, a parent must petition to the Florida Department of Revenue with documentation showing his or her reason for seeking a modification. He or she then must fill out the paperwork sent by the department to have the order altered. Child support orders that are set to expire within six months of the date of the petition cannot be modified. This is the process used for either parent seeking a modification, whether the modification is to seek more money or reduce the amount owed. In any case where a parent seeks to modify his or her child support order, that parent must prove that he or she has experienced significantly changed circumstances to justify the modification. Let our Orlando child support attorney help with your situation.
Child Support Beyond 18
As discussed above, there are circumstances where a parent may be required to continue to financially provide for his or her child after the child reaches adulthood. Generally, this is the case when the child is unable to become self-sufficient due to mental or physical health conditions. Adolescents who reach the age of 18 before graduating from high school may also receive child support until they graduate, provided they graduate from high school by age 19.
Child support for young adults enrolled in college can be a tricky issue. In Florida, there is no law that requires parents to pay for their childrens’ college educations. However, there is also no law in place that prohibits the court from requiring such support. The key issue in determining whether a young man or woman may receive support from his or her parent is dependency. If the student is determined to be dependent on his or her parents while attending college, the court may require the paying parent to put money toward the student’s educational costs. However, attending college does not, on its own, make an individual a dependent. Other factors, such as the young adult’s employment, could come into play in making this decision.
Health Insurance & Child Support
Health insurance is also calculated into child support and may depend on which parent carries insurance coverage and the type of coverage offered. The court ensures that support payments include money for the child’s medical, dental, and prescription medication costs. Depending on how the insurance is set up and whether it is reasonable, one parent may reimburse the other or have to pay for costs not covered by the policy. Contact our Orlando child support attorney for more information.
In addition to the three main items of income, minimum needs, and healthcare expenses, an Orlando family law attorney can also calculate child care costs into support payments.
Consult an experienced Orlando Child Support Attorney
Our Orlando child support attorney can prove invaluable for helping you resolve your issues. Contact the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee today for an initial consultation.