The Importance Of Attaining Fair Child Support
Child support protects a child’s right to be financially supported by both parents. Some parents attempt to use child support as a bargaining chip during divorce, forgetting the fact that child support is not a privilege given to one parent; it is a child’s right.
Child support is often awarded in situations where one parent has significantly more time with the child than the other parent or an earnings discrepancy. Ideally, a child support award should allow the child to maintain the same standard of living at both parental homes.
The Guidelines Florida Uses To Determine Support
When determining child support for couples who are in the divorce process or who are separating, Florida courts use a specific set of guidelines. Factors considered include:
- Timesharing agreement: A parent with no scheduled parenting time will pay the maximum amount in child support. Their obligation begins decreasing once their share of parenting time reaches 20% and continues to do so as the time sharing obligations shift. Even with a 50/50 timesharing agreement, a child support award may occur if there are income discrepancies.
- Number of children: The more minor children produced by marriage, the higher the child support award will be.
- Health care: A child must have access to healthcare coverage. A child support award will account for that and require one parent to cover the cost of health care coverage, depending on which parent has a better policy through their job or another source.
- Income and earning ability of each parent: This is a significant factor in determining child support. Consider a divorcing couple with massive differences in income. If the couple has a 50/50 timesharing schedule, but one earns $10,000 per year, and one earns $200,000 per year, the parent earning $10,000 per year would still receive quite a bit of child support.
- This formula allows both parents to provide a similar standard of living for their children, which would have occurred if they had remained married.
- Earning ability is also a factor; if one parent could reasonably get a job that pays $50,000 per year, but they choose to work part-time and earn $12,000 per year, the court does not look favorably on such choices.
- They may require the parent to pay at the higher level of the higher paying job they opted to forgo. This method discourages parents from remaining underemployed to avoid child support.
- Paternity: This may need to be established in cases where the parents are not married, are same-sex or had other issues that affected who the presumed parent is.
Our team will help you understand your rights, obligation and options when it comes to the payment or receipt of child support. In every case we will work to ensure the needs of you child are met.
Get The Child Support Guidance And Information You Need
Attorney Darla K. Snead is here to help. With decades of experience, we can provide the much-needed counsel and support you need in Florida child support matters. Call 863-869-0245 or send us an introductory email at the firm to get started.