Fort Lauderdale Child Support Lawyer
Pompano Beach Law Firm Protecting Your Rights
The attorney at Stuart N. House, P.A., has more than 25 years of experience representing Florida residents in child support cases. We take a comprehensive approach to understand your immediate and future needs, and when necessary, we retain experienced professionals who may testify on your behalf.
Under Florida family law, both parents are responsible for making an appropriate contribution to the financial well-being of the minor children after a divorce. However, the allocation of that support between the parties can sometimes become complex based on the amount of time-sharing each party has and whether one parent is voluntarily unemployed or under-employed.
Recently, the courts recognized a long-standing inequity in the treatment of parents when it came to time-sharing and support, and has changed the law to improve fairness. While failure to pay child support has severe consequences, it certainly is within your right to ensure that you only pay what you must.
How Is it Calculated in the Sunshine State?
Florida courts determine child support by using a mandatory formula. Many nuances to the formula exist, and our Fort Lauderdale child support attorney will consider your situation and ensure the court considers all aspects of the formula.
The court uses the following factors to calculate child support:
- The income of both parents;
- the number of children the parents share;
- the custody and visitation schedule established by the parents;
- the daycare costs incurred by the parents;
- the health insurance costs incurred by the parents.
In a time-sharing agreement, you may spend "substantial" time with your child, meaning your child is with you more than 20 percent of the overnights in a year. In this case, child support is based on a "gross-up" calculation that takes into account the number of overnights the child spends with you rather than "straight guideline" calculations. Consequently, the amount of support ordered may be significantly less than what would have been ordered without substantial time-sharing. Child support is an obligation, not a right, meaning you can't waive your responsibility to pay.
Each party must provide full disclosure of their income and expenses. If you suspect that the other parent is withholding financial information, our lawyer can look into this matter for you. When necessary, we will partner with financial experts to determine the actual income of an individual.
Can Modifications Be Made?
After a divorce, it is not uncommon for situations and circumstances to change, making your original support order untenable or unmanageable. You may need additional support to adjust to a child's needs, or you may have had a change in your financial status due to a job loss.
Where there has been a substantial change in circumstances, a Fort Lauderdale child support lawyer can help you modify the existing order.
A modification may be in order under the following conditions:
- Your child has an illness that demands additional care or support;
- you have changed jobs or lost a job, making your original support order unmanageable;
- you need further financial assistance because you lost your job and are the primary caretaker of a child;
- you need advocacy involving the enforcement of a child custody order.
To modify child support, you must be able to demonstrate to the court that you have a substantial, permanent, involuntary material change in the circumstances of either party. Our Fort Lauderdale child support attorney will take immediate and strategic action to protect your rights and respond to your needs using documentation, expert testimony, and witness statements to back up your claim.
Our Fort Lauderdale child support lawyer offers aggressive and zealous representation. With our vast experience and ability, we will help you obtain a modification order to adjust to your change in circumstances. The sooner you contact a Fort Lauderdale child support attorney, the better your chances of success in your divorce case.
A free consultation with a child support lawyer at our Fort Lauderdaleoffice is a call (or click) away. Get the compassion you deserve at this difficult time. Contact us online or give us a call at (954) 388-8443.
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