Orlando Family Team works with clients throughout Orange County, Florida to resolve complex family law matters, including child support. Whether you need to establish, modify, or enforce a child support agreement, we can help by providing excellent legal representation and empathetic support. Our highly skilled child support lawyers are well-prepared to negotiate and/or litigate to make certain that your family is protected and well-served. Contact our office today to arrange a consultation.
How Child Support Is Determined by the Courts in Orange County
Florida courts determine child support amounts for each parent by considering custody and time-sharing arrangements. In almost all cases, the noncustodial parent must make support payments to the parent with primary custody under the assumption that the parent with custody will be paying more for the child’s basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. If the parents have joint custody, the number of overnights the children spend with each parent will be taken into consideration.
Florida’s child support guidelines take the following factors into account in order to determine how much support each parent will receive or pay.
- The income and earning capacity of both parents
- The children’s standard of living during the marriage (if applicable)
- The cost of education, daycare, healthcare, and extracurricular activities
The law recognizes that there will be deviations due to particular circumstances, but still allows only a 5 percent deviation based on, for example:
- Extraordinary medical or educational costs for parent or child
- Seasonal variations in parents’ incomes
- Ages of the children
- Expenses of a child with special needs or special talents
- Child’s independent income (e.g. from a trust or as a child actor or model)
- Parental assets
- Alterations in the time-sharing arrangement
As you probably realize, parents may argue that court decisions about child support are unfair, which is one reason it is preferable for parents to negotiate and come to a compromise without litigation. The fair-minded child support attorneys at Orlando Family Team are well-practiced in assisting in such negotiations.
Why Our Child Support Attorneys are the Wise Choice in Orange County
The lawyers at Orlando Family Team have extensive experience handling child support issues in both paternity actions and divorce cases. We are acutely aware that each family has unique elements and will provide you with individualized attention in order to understand how your particular family functions. This will enable us to work toward a child support arrangement that best suits you and your children.
Our accomplished child support attorneys also have the well-developed skills and in-depth knowledge of family law to resolve complications that arise in families in which one parent is self-employed, has undisclosed income, or has a history of failing to live up to their child support obligations. Once you contact us, you will feel confident about our ability to resolve your child support issues and become comfortable with our approach to protecting your rights and the rights of your children.
What Child Support Covers in Orange County
As most of us are well aware, raising a child is an expensive proposition. Agreements in regard to unmarried, separated, or divorced parents must include funds to cover:
- Food, including not only groceries for meals eaten at home, but money for school meals and occasional meals outside the home, e.g. while on a school trip
- Clothing appropriate for school, play, sports, artistic activities, or camp
- Educational costs for daycare, books, school supplies (including tuition and uniforms if the child is attending private school)
- Medical expenses, including health insurance, out-of-pocket healthcare costs (e.g. deductibles, uncovered services, uncovered medications, co-pays, and doctor-recommended vitamins or supplements
- Hobbies, recreational activities, and entertainment, including camp, swimming, art or music lessons, tutoring if necessary, and occasional visits to movies, museums, botanical gardens, museums, zoos, amusement parks, or fairs
Child Support Modifications
Once you connect with Orlando Family Team attorneys, you are also connected with legal advocates for child support modifications if changes to your child support agreement become necessary due to:
- One parent’s loss of employment
- One parent’s hospitalization, incapacity, or incarceration
- One or more children aging out of daycare or reaching maturity (in Florida, this is when a child reaches 19 years of age or graduates from high school)
- One parent’s relocation
- One parent’s significantly increased assets due to a new job, a promotion, a substantial inheritance, etc.
It should be noted that a child support modification will only be granted if there will be a 15 percent or $50 discrepancy once the modification takes place.
Child Support Enforcement
Orlando Family Team child support lawyers will also take your side in terms of seeing to it that child support terms are enforced if your former partner stops making regular payments. We can help by pursuing court actions that will:
- Institute a wage garnishment to automatically deduct child support payments from the delinquent parent’s paycheck
- Place a lien on the individual’s real property
- Seize the delinquent parent’s savings or other assets
While a repeat offender may also be held in contempt, resulting in a prison sentence and fines, the courts are reluctant to take this step since taking it makes the deadbeat parent unable to comply with court-ordered child support.
Contact Our Experienced Orange County Child Support Attorneys Today
Whatever your gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity, Orlando Family Team is ready to assist you in any and all issues involving child support. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can lift your burden and ensure that your rights and the rights of your children are fully protected. Contact us now to discuss your options.