How Does Child Support Work After Divorce in Florida?
Child support is the responsibility of every parent regardless of whether or not the parents are married, divorced or single. If you and your partner are starting down the process of divorce in Florida and you have a child (or children) together, you may be wondering how does child support work? Or how much child support can you expect from you partner after you separate?
Keep scrolling to learn a bit more about the basics of child support and how it may apply to you and your family.
Child Support in Florida
Essentially, child support is intended to ensure that a child continues to be provided with an acceptable standard of living even after their parents get a divorce. All child support payments are meant to benefit the child.
Sometimes, some benefits may incidentally accrue to the non-paying parent. Things like food and clothing, eating out, educational expenses, medical expenses, or hobbies and entertainment like summer camp or swimming lessons.
How Is Child Support Determined in Florida?
The amount of child support a parent will be required to pay will be based on the Florida Support Guidelines. The final amount will depend largely on the parents' net income and the number of children involved. The number of overnight stays each parent has with the kids will also affect the amount of child support required. In most cases, child support will be paid unless both parents earn the same income and have equal custody.
Back Owed Child Support in Florida
Under Florida law, a parent has the right to seek back owed child support. Usually, retroactive child support will date back to when the parents stopped residing together in the same house. Whatever the case may be, the period of retroactive child support in Florida can't exceed twenty-four months. In 1998, Florida enacted a statute on retroactive child support. So, if a child was born before 1998, the amount of back owed child support could be sought back to the date the child was born. Also, a parent may be able to sue for back owed child support even after the child turns eighteen.
Modifying Child Support Payments
Of course, if a substantial change in circumstances happens for a parent, the child support payment may be modified. However, a judge will only be interested with changes that happened after the initial case. Issues that came up prior to the initial case won't usually be considered for modifications.
For example, if a parent gets a raise or loses their job, child support may be modified. In general, a 10% change in income must occur to qualify as a ‘substantial change'. Be aware though that even if your income has decreased, you may not automatically qualify for a decrease in child support payments. Especially if the other parent has also experienced a loss in income, and that decrease is more significant than the decrease you experience.
The knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys at Family Matters Law Group have years of experience championing for the best possible outcome for their clients' entire family unit. We understand how important these matters are and how difficult a time this can be for you and your family. If you think you need help with your divorce, or want to know more about modifying your current child support, contact them today to discuss the best way to move forward.