Few issues in family law are more contentious than those which surround money or children. In the case of child support, both of these issues are involved. Chapter 61of the Florida Statutes address the issues of child support and visitation rights.
Floridacourts no longer favor the mother in child custody determinations, and have, in recent years, been in support of relatively equal time-sharing between parents. This is important because the child support determination is based in part on the amount of parenting time or overnight stays with each parent.
The courts use child support guidelines to provide a consistent method in determining child support obligations. These guidelines allow the courts to focus on the following when trying to figure out how much support is adequate:
The court, nevertheless, is always free to deviate from the child support guidelines and order support which is appropriate. If the court deviates from the child support guidelines, the judge must specifically state his/her reasons for the deviation in writing.
There are a number of issues which could lead to one parent requesting a change in the child support amount or terms. Some common concerns or situations which arise are:
In the case of unmarried parents, it is possible that one parent may seek to collect child support payments. If a paternity determination is positive, or if the father acknowledges paternity, the court can rule that child support is owed for up to two years in the past, starting from the date of the couple’s separation.
If you believe that you are owed child support, or entitled to a modification of your child support based a change in either your circumstances, please contact our office today for a no-cost consultation.