There are financial responsibilities that come with having a child. When a child does not live with both of their parents—either due to divorce or the couple never marrying in the first place—the parents are typically required by court order to provide financial support.

If you are involved in a child support dispute or want to establish a support order, now is the time to seek legal help. A Little Gables child support lawyer can assist you with every step of the process. Instead of acting as your own attorney, get professional advice from a skilled family law attorney.

Understanding What Child Support Covers

The purpose of the child support system is to ensure that minor children have the resources they need to grow and thrive when their parents no longer live together. These resources provide an acceptable standard of living that includes basic necessities like food or shelter. However, child support can cover other expenses like hobbies, education, or entertainment for the child. Some of the things that child support typically pays for include the following:

  • Medical costs;
  • Food and shelter;
  • Education expenses;
  • Extracurricular expenses;
  • Clothing;
  • School supplies;
  • Hobbies;
  • School trips.

These funds are designed to benefit the child, although some benefits will ultimately pass on to the other parent by default. A Little Gables child support attorney can ensure that the other parent does not misuse or improperly take advantage of financial support and that it is focused entirely on the needs of the child.

How Much Child Support is Owed?

The process of determining the appropriate amount of child support involves a series of calculations. These calculations use something known as the Florida Child Support Guidelines. The guidelines consider the income and debts of the parents to determine the fair amount of financial support. Generally, the majority parent receives support payments from the non-majority parent.

The formula first looks at the combined income of the parents and the number of children they share between them. In this case, the income includes more than just wages; it can include income from a pension, disability benefits, royalties, or even spousal support from a prior marriage.

Once all the income is calculated, the next step involves deductions. Certain expenses can be deducted from a parent’s income, which will then reduce the amount of support they owe. Some allowable deductions include health insurance premiums, union dues, and tax deductions.

Once all these factors are calculated together, the formula provides a suggested amount of monthly child support. It is important to remember that this amount is just a recommendation. The Judge that oversees the case has the right to order payments above or below the recommended amount, at their discretion.

Courts need to order an amount of child support that is fair and sustainable. A Little Gables child support attorney can work with a co-parent to confirm that the court considered all the relevant factors when making this decision.

Contact a Little Gables Child Support Attorney Today

When it comes to the health and protection of your child, making sure their needs are met is an important aspect to get right. If you are involved in a dispute with the other parent, strong legal counsel could ensure your child has everything they need while also protecting your legal rights as an individual. Reach out to a Little Gables child support lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about your options. The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm offers a free consultation to discuss your concerns.