At Alspector Family Law we apply our knowledge to arrive at the most accurate and optimal child support figure

Many divorcing couples have children. If a couple has been married awhile, their children may already be adults. As such, neither parent will owe child support to the other. In the State of Florida, your legal obligation to support your child generally ends when he turns 18, or, in most circumstances, prior to the age of 19, if he is in high school and expected to graduate before his 19th birthday. You are not required to support a child in college. In short, unless your child suffers from a medical condition or other circumstance limiting his ability to hold a job or otherwise be self-supporting (laziness is not a sufficient reason!), your child support obligation ends between your child’s 18th and 19th birthdays. All children below that age range are usually dependent upon their parents for support. Child support is designed to be used to pay for housing, food and other necessities that the parents typically paid during the marriage to care and provide for the child. When divorce occurs, the parent who has a greater income typically pays to the other parent.

Determining Child Support

The amount is determined by a formula which takes into account the incomes of the parties and the time-sharing (formerly known as visitation) each party has with a child. To illustrate the formula, if you and your spouse earn the same income and have the same amount of time-sharing, the result is zero child support being paid by either one of you. Departing from this basic example, if you earn less than your spouse or you have more time-sharing than your spouse, you would typically receive child support. Also taken into account are health insurance premium costs for the children, uncovered health care expenses, and daycare, aftercare and/or summer camp that is necessitated as a result of one or both parents’ employment. If the children need care because one or both parents are working, that child care cost is includable as a component of child support.

Support is typically paid as a monthly recurring amount. If you request, it may be taken directly from your spouse’s pay by his or her employer and transferred to a Florida administrative agency charged with the responsibility to receive and distribute payments.

You cannot waive child support and you cannot get out of paying it. If the formula says you owe it, then you do. If the formula says you should receive it, then you must. Unless someone is willing to adopt your child and undertake financial responsibility for him or her, you cannot terminate your own parental rights or give up your time-sharing to get out of paying child support. Conversely, you cannot seek more time-sharing with your children by exchanging it for the child support owed to you.

Modification

Child support is subject to modification under certain circumstances until the child becomes an adult or is otherwise emancipated.

Nuances within the child support formula can often result in significant differences in the amount that may be owed. At Alspector Family Law, we carefully investigate all variables that may affect the child support award. We effectively apply our knowledge to arrive at the most accurate and optimal figure after thoroughly considering many potential factors. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss your case.