If you are a parent living apart from your child’s other parent, then child support is likely a critical issue. Each parent has a legal obligation to support their child financially. Financial support is your child’s right, and parents cannot waive it.
Work with a South Miami child support lawyer if you and your co-parent are having a dispute about these issues. A skilled family attorney can help you set up an agreement that keeps your child’s best interests in mind or help you modify your current child support arrangement if it no longer meets your child’s needs or if your circumstances have changed.
Determining Appropriate Child Support
Parents can use a state-approved formula to calculate their minimum child support obligations. The goal is to sustain the lifestyle that the child enjoyed when both parents lived together. If the parents never lived together, the formula gives the child the financial benefit they would have received if they lived as a family.
Several factors influence child support. The formula considers each parent’s gross income and considers factors like:
- The cost of health insurance for the child;
- Work-related childcare expenses for each parent;
- How many children each parent supports;
- How many nights per year the child stays with each parent.
After plugging in all this information, the formula provides a minimum child support payment. A South Miami attorney could help parents work with this child support formula to ensure they are addressing all of the notable factors.
However, the minimum payment might not be enough in some cases. Children with special mental, physical, or educational needs might require more support than the formula provides. If the child attends private school, participates in traveling sports leagues, or if the parents provided a high-end lifestyle before their separation, a Judge might consider a minimum child support payment to be inadequate.
Enforcing and Modifying Child Support
Sometimes child support is, and remains, a deeply personal issue between parents, and sometimes problems develop over time. A South Miami child support attorney can advise a parent about available legal strategies if a child support arrangement is not working as well as it should.
If a parent falls behind on their child support payments, the state’s Child Support Enforcement Program could help enforce the child support order. Alternatively, a receiving parent could bring a court motion to compel the co-parent to bring their payments up to date or face a contempt of court finding.
Florida Statute § 61.13(2) allows a court to modify child support if a change in personal circumstances merits a change in payments. Parents could agree to a modification and submit it to the court for approval. If one parent in South Miami wants to modify the child support arrangement and the other parent objects, the one who is seeking modification must petition the court for a change in the plan.
Contact a South Miami Child Support Attorney for Legal Guidance Today
Just because parents live apart does not mean they do not have to support their children financially. The law requires both parents to provide for their children’s basic necessities and full opportunities. If one of the parents enjoys a more privileged lifestyle, the children should share that too.
Place a call to a South Miami child support lawyer for help with any issues regarding payments, including modifying an existing agreement. With a seasoned legal professional on your side, you could achieve your child support goals and ensure that your children have the life that they deserve.