Parents have an obligation under the law to financially support their children. This obligation cannot be waived and it does not go away when the parents divorce or separate. In these cases, the court system is tasked with awarding child support so that children can grow and feel secure despite their parents’ separation.
If you need to sort out your role in child support, a dedicated family law attorney is available to help. You have rights when it comes to child support obligations but you need someone on your side to protect those rights. A Pembroke Pines child support lawyer can work tirelessly to ensure you are treated fairly throughout this process.
What Does Child Support Pay For?
Ultimately, child support payments are intended to support the child who has not yet come of age. This covers their basic needs but also provides support for other expenses like school activities or sports. This money is intended to only cover the needs of the child and cannot be used by the custodial parent to do what they like with it. However, it is inevitable that some payments ultimately benefit parent and child alike, such as basic living expenses. Some of the things these payments can cover include:
- Housing expenses;
- Medical costs;
- Educational expenses;
- Recreational and sports costs;
- The cost of food;
- Transportation costs.
It can be challenging to ensure that the amount of support ordered by the court meets the needs of a child without going above and beyond the amount they require. A Pembroke Pines child support attorney can make a case for a fair outcome from the court.
Determining the Amount of Child Support
Florida law sets out a formula for determining a recommended amount of monthly child support in any situation. This recommendation is calculated based on the assets, earnings, and expenses of both parents. It is important to note that these recommendations do not have to be followed by the court but merely serve as an initial guideline.
Using the Child Support Guidelines
State guidelines take into account the total amount of income each parent brings in every year. This is only part of the calculation, as the formula also considers the obligations of each parent, including such things like tax obligations and support for other minor children. Using this financial information, the guidelines will determine what should be a fair amount of child support on a monthly basis.
Deviating from the Guidelines
The guidelines are only a starting point in the child support process. The needs of one child may not be the same needs for another and some situations require additional financial support beyond what the guidelines recommend. For that reason, it is possible for the Judge to deviate from the recommendations made by the support guidelines. If they deviate by more than five percent, then they need to provide a written explanation of their reasoning.
For example, a child might have additional medical needs that far exceed most other children. When this is the case, a Pembroke Pines attorney could advocate for a greater amount of child support each month to cover those costs. The Judge will ultimately make the decision based on what is best for the child.
Call a Pembroke Pines Child Support Attorney for Help Today
You deserve strong legal counsel that is willing to help you fight for your rights as a parent. Whether you are seeking child support or ensuring that the support you are required to give is fair, The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm can provide valuable support.
You do not need to work all of this out alone. Call a Pembroke Pines child support lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options in a free consultation.