Both parents owe their child a financial and emotional duty to support them. Both owe their child support. The court may order child support to make sure that a child is cared for, maintained, and educated, whether their parents got a divorce or were not married in the first place. Parents cannot waive their child support obligations. If you are concerned about child support, you should discuss your situation with seasoned Jacksonville child support lawyer Kevin M. Cobbin.Child Support
Child support should go toward a child’s food, water, electricity, and housing. It may be used to cover health insurance as well. Usually, the Florida Child Support Guidelines dictate how much child support should be paid in each case and for how long. The amount of support that the Guidelines require will be based on the parents’ income, the parenting plan, and how many children are involved. The child’s educational, medical, and psychological needs also play a role in determining the terms of child support.
The amount of time that each parent has with a child also influences how much child support is ordered, and which parent is ordered to pay support to the other. Generally, a parent who has a greater amount of time with the child will be paid support by a parent who has less time with the child. In most cases, child support needs to be paid by one parent toward the other even if the parents share equal time with a child. The exception is when both parents share equal time with a child and earn the same income.Calculating the Amount of Child Support
Florida courts follow the income shares model. A child support attorney in Jacksonville can explain how this works. This means that courts estimate how much money a parent would spend on a child if the parents continued to live in a single household. That amount needs to be divided between the parents according to their incomes.
The court’s first step will be to calculate how much child support is dictated by the Guidelines. A parent’s share is determined by dividing their monthly income by the parents’ combined monthly income. The court will also determine how much time each parent spends with the child, as well as the proportion of the total time that the child spends with both parents. Child support is proportionate to how much time each parent spends with the child. There are further calculations when the parents’ combined monthly incomes are greater than $10,000.
The court is supposed to order reasonable child support. It should not order a parent to pay more than what is affordable.
There are situations in which the court is empowered to depart from the Guidelines. The relevant factors to be considered when determining whether to deviate from the Guidelines include the child’s needs, the standard of living, each parent’s financial status, and each parent’s age. When the court departs by more than 5% from the Guidelines, it must issue a written explanation. A Jacksonville child support attorney can advise you on whether a deviation may apply in your case.Agreements Between Parents
Both parents need to keep in mind that child support is meant to cover the costs of maintaining a child, even though it is paid to the other parent. Parents cannot waive their child support obligations in a pre-marital agreement or post-marital agreement. In some cases, the parents may agree on child support and submit that agreement to the court for approval. The agreement must provide for the child’s proper care, or it probably will not be approved.Child Support Arrears
Unfortunately, some parents do not pay the child support ordered by the court. A parent can seek child support arrearages owed by the other parent. The retroactive child support payments can date back to when the parents stopped living together in the same home, but they cannot go back more than 24 months. A parent with custody should not withhold visitation based on a late child support payment.Retain a Child Support Lawyer in Jacksonville
It is crucial to a child’s well-being that both parents take their responsibility to support and maintain the child seriously. If you are concerned about child support, you should consult Kevin M. Cobbin. He represents people throughout Duval County and the surrounding areas. Call him at (904) 357-8448 or complete our online form.