Child support decisions are one of the most important aspects of a divorce, given that they deal with your children’s current and future well being. Parents have a legal obligation to support their minor children and there are several factors that influence the amount of child support that a parent is required to pay. The factors that influence the amount of child support include each party’s respective income and each party’s respective custodial time with the children. Valdes Law Firm, P.A. can help you understand what you can expect when child support is an issue and can help you calculate the amount of child support that you can expect to pay or receive. If you live in Broward, Miami-Dade, or Palm Beach County and you need advice concerning child support, contact our office online or by phone at (954) 764-7878 to schedule a free initial consultation. Hablamos español.
In Florida, child support is governed by Florida Statutes section 61.30, which contains the child support guidelines. Child support guidelines apply in most cases and are determined by applying a mathematical formula that takes into account a variety of factors including, but not limited to:
- The number of children;
- The net monthly income of both parties;
- Daycare and/or aftercare expenses;
- The cost of health insurance for the minor children;
- Time sharing; and
- Any extraordinary expenses for the minor children.
Using this information, the court will calculate your guideline child support to be paid or received, depending on your case.
The court can deviate from the child support guidelines for a variety of reasons, including but not necessarily limited to, the cost of transportation for out-of-state parents, special needs of the child (medical/educational), the payor’s ability to meet his/her basic living expenses, time sharing schedule and any other relevant factor. However, if a child support award deviates from the guidelines by more than 5%, a judge is required to make specific factual findings supporting the deviation. A deviation from the guidelines of more than 5% is rare and the guidelines will most likely provide an accurate estimate of what you can expect to pay or receive, depending on your case.
If you fail to pay child support as ordered, your wages may be garnished. In most cases, the court will enter an Income Deduction Order which will be sent directly to your employer. Your employer then has the obligation to withhold your child support from your paycheck and remit those monies to the State of Florida for disbursement.
If you fail to pay child support, your ex spouse may also serve you with a Motion for Contempt. A Motion for Contempt essentially asks the court to force you to pay a lump sum amount towards your back child support or for the court to order you to go to jail for up to 179 days. Motions for Contempt can be defended, and it is important to hire an attorney who is compassionate, aggressive, and dedicated to fighting for your rights. Valdes Law Firm, P.A. is focused on vigorously representing our clients and resolving our clients’ legal matters as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
In order for a party to prevail on a Motion for Contempt, that party has to prove to the court that the non-paying party as the present ability to pay child support. This ensures that the court will only sanction people who can pay their child support but choose not to do so.
Valdes Law Firm, P.A. can help you with any issues you may have involving child support, including filing or defending a Motion for Contempt. Contact us online or by phone at (954) 764-7878 to schedule your free initial consultation. Hablamos español.
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