Child Support is usually granted to one of the parents to maintain the lifestyle of the Minor Child(ren) involved, and the other parent is usually responsible for child support. The Court determines which parent pays and which parent receives child support. Once the Court determines which parent will receive Child Support, the more difficult part is determining what amount is reasonable from the parent responsible for paying child support. In Florida, there is a complex mathematical formula and schedule used to determine the amount that should be due and owing by the paying parent. This mathematical formula generally takes the following into consideration:
- The number of Minor Child(ren) and shared between the Parties, income of both parties,
- The cost of necessary child care for the Minor Child(ren),
- The cost of medical and dental insurance of the Minor Child(ren),
- The cost of uncovered medical and dental expenses of the Minor Child(ren); and
- The percentage share of amount of overnight visits each parent has with the Minor Child(ren).
Few parents know or realize that in specific circumstances, Florida law allows for retroactive child support, which, at the Court’s discretion, allows the Court to asses back child support to be paid by the paying parent for up to twenty-four (24) months prior to the entry of a new child support order, as well as, some of the Mother’s medical bills related to birth of the Minor Child(ren).
If you are the parent in need of child support for your Minor Child(ren) in accordance with Court Order, there are several ways to ensure payment, including but not limited to: the entry of an income withholding order requiring the paying parent’s employer to withhold the ordered child support amount from the paying party’s paycheck and distribute it to you through the state’s child support depository system; requiring the paying party to obtain and maintain life insurance to secure your Minor Child(ren)’s right to support in the event of the paying parent’s untimely death; and, various enforcement proceedings, including but not limited to, driver’s license suspension of the paying parent; and, in extreme circumstances, jail time as a result of non-compliance and failure to pay child support.
If you are a parent being asked to pay child support, you need to consult with an attorney immediately and before Court Order to avoid being railroaded into paying more money than you can afford in child support. This is particularly true if your income fluctuates based upon seasonal variations with your employment, you receive an unpredictable and unreliable bonus and/or commission structure, you spend a significant amount of overnight time with your Minor Child(ren), you currently support your other biological Minor Child(ren) from a previous relationship pursuant to a Court Order, etc. Further, to avoid paying retroactive child support going back up to twenty-four (24) months, as allowed by Florida law, you need a knowledgeable attorney who can assist and defend you.
The attorneys at SHAMY, EL FADEL & MAHONE are skilled and experienced in determining child support and calculating the proper child support to be paid by one parent to the other parent.