Can I Get a Child Support Order If I Am Still Married?
When most Florida residents think of child support cases, they picture one of the following two scenarios:
- A couple gets divorced, and the spouse with primary custody receives child support payments from their former partner; or
- A couple was never married, and the parent who has primary custody receives child support payments from the other parent.
However, there is also a third scenario: in Florida, a court can potentially award child support even the parents are still legally married. Here, our compassionate Orlando child support attorney discusses these types of complex claims.
Child Support for Separated But Still Married Couples
There are many reasons why a couple might choose to separate but not actually get divorced. To start, a couple may simply want to go through a period of trial separation. They may want to see what type of perspective a few months of separation will give them. In other cases, a couple may wish to permanently separate, but may have personal reasons why they want to avoid getting a divorce. In this, all choices are valid, and couples have a right to decide on their own living arrangements.
Regardless, under Florida law, when spouses are separated, the parent who retains primary custody of the children may be able to seek child support.
The statutes do not require a legal divorce in these cases. Instead, if a parent can prove that their spouse lives in a different place, they might be able to qualify for child support. Additionally, fault is not an issue in these cases. When it comes to child support calculations, Florida courts consider the financial abilities and financial needs of the parties involved, not who was or who was not at fault for the current separation. Child support is for the protection and well-being of children, and any problem in the marriage is secondary.
How Much Child Support Is Owed in My Case?
Florida courts determine child support awards based on preset calculations by using a statewide formula. These guidelines provide the basis for how child support is awarded. Though, to be clear, Florida’s child support standards are by no means set in stone. Florida courts have considerable flexibility to deviate from the general guidelines if good cause can be shown by either party involved in the case. You may be able to get a child support award increased or decreased if you can present the court with court evidence that justifies doing so. If you are involved in a child support dispute, a qualified Orlando child support attorney can help protect your parental rights and financial interests.
Contact Our Orlando Family Law Attorney Today
At the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., our compassionate family lawyer team has deep experience with complex child support cases. If you have any questions about child support, please do not hesitate to contact us today to set up a private case review. We represent individuals in child support claims throughout Orange County, including in Orlando, Maitland, Apopka, Winter Garden and Belle Isle.