Top Questions About Child Support
Divorce can push a person to his or her emotional limits, especially when a couple shares children. For instance, many parents have concerns about how they will financially support their children after divorce, so to help, we’ve included a few answers to the most common questions we hear about child support in Florida. For a more in-depth assessment of your questions and concerns, please reach out to an experienced Fort Lauderdale child support lawyer in your area.
How is Child Support Calculated?
Getting a divorce doesn’t automatically end a parent’s rights and responsibilities towards his or her children. Instead, it will just change how those responsibilities look. For instance, parents will have to come up with a custody arrangement and visitation schedule and the non-custodial parent will be ordered to pay monthly child support payments to the other parent. Florida uses the Income Shares Model to determine how much two parents would normally spend in raising their child if they were still living in one household. This amount is then divided between the parties based on each parent’s income, living situation, and expenses.
What is Child Support Used For?
Child support payments must be used to finance a child’s physical and emotional needs, as well as his or her education and overall well-being. For instance, child support can be used to help cover the cost of housing, utilities, meals, tuition, and a child’s extracurricular activities. Courts are strict about what child support can be used for, so judges will act harshly towards a parent who fails to use child support payments for a child’s needs.
What if We Share Custody?
In cases where two parents share joint physical custody, one parent will still probably be assigned child support, as even with shared custody arrangements, one parent typically has custody for longer periods of time. If two parents share roughly the same amount of time, the amount ordered will reflect this difference in parenting time.
When Can I File for Child Support?
A parent can request child support any time before a child turns 18 years old. However, support will only officially start once the court has ordered it. Those who have child support orders in place can also change those orders by going through the modification process, which in turn, usually requires proof of a substantial change in circumstances, like an involuntary job loss.
How is Child Support Enforced?
Child support awards are legal orders, which means that a parent who fails to make these payments face serious penalties. A court can even garnish the non-paying parent’s wages and place liens on personal assets to collect the amount owed.
Speak to a Fort Lauderdale Child Support Lawyer Today
Receiving financial support is critical to providing a child with the life that he or she deserves. If you need assistance with a child support matter, please reach out to dedicated Florida child support lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. by calling 954-945-7591. We don’t charge for initial consultations, so don’t hesitate to call or contact us online today.