Jupiter Child Support Lawyer
When it comes to their children, parents have both legal rights and obligations. Parents, for instance, generally have the right to visitation with their children, but also have the obligation to support those children financially. This can become a contentious issue upon divorce, when one parent will likely be ordered to pay monthly child support to the other. How much a parent has to pay, however, will depend on his or her income, the other parent’s income, the child’s needs, and the family’s particular custody arrangement. For help coming up with an estimate of what you or your co-parent could owe in child support, call a dedicated Jupiter child support lawyer today.
The Florida Income Shares Model
Florida, like most states, uses a specific standard, known as the Income Shares Model when calculating child support. This standard is based on the idea that children, when part of an intact household, receive the benefit of both of their parents’ pooled incomes. In the event of divorce, (according to this model) that child should still receive the same proportion of parental income, even when those parents no longer live in the same house. When using this model, courts estimate the amount that two parents would normally spend on their child if they were still married and then divide that amount between the parents based on their incomes, how much time they spend with the child, and where they fall on Florida’s Child Support Guidelines.
Calculating Income and Expenses
Using the Income Shares Model requires both of a child’s parents to provide the court with accurate details about their finances. Each parent’s income and expenses will be verified, at which point, the court will assess the combined net incomes of the parents, minus allowable deductions. In most cases, this requires a calculation of wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, and retirement benefits, while applicable deductions could include everything from health insurance premiums to income tax.
Your Custody Arrangement Could Affect Your Child Support Order
Once both parents have verified their incomes, the court will assess the family’s specific custody arrangement and, based on how many overnight visits the child spends with each parent, will issue a child support order. Generally, non-custodial parents are required to pay monthly child support and if they fail to do so, could face severe penalties, including fines, driver’s license suspension, wage garnishment, and even jail time. Fortunately, it is possible to modify a child support award based on a change of circumstances.
Modifying Child Support
A parent who can no longer meet his or her child support obligations can attempt to modify that order by submitting a petition to the court. This will, however, require proof that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred that makes the previous agreement unworkable. This could take the form of a job loss, a demotion, or even the onset of an illness or disability. Proof that a child is spending more overnight visits with the non-custodial parent could also be enough to justify a change in the order.
Set Up a Free Consultation Today
To speak with an experienced Jupiter child support lawyer about your own financial obligations to your child following divorce, call 561-288-0548 and set up a meeting with Caroline Olson, P.A. today.