When a couple gets divorced, or in the case of parents who have never married, they often have to fight over how much child support will be required. Fortunately, Florida has many laws in place to ensure that child support payments are fair and reasonable.
Understanding Child Support Laws in Miami
The main purpose of child support is to make sure that the children are taken care of financially during the separation or divorce process. These expenses can include living, education, and medical costs. The amount of child support is usually based on income levels and other factors that can vary depending on the specifics of the individual case.
There are many different kinds of sanctions that a parent can face when he or she falls behind on court-ordered child support. If you are falling behind on your child support payments, or have been asked to pay more than you can afford, it is a good idea to seek legal help from an attorney as soon as possible.
A child support lawyer can help you establish your financial obligation, calculate how much support you should be paying or receiving, and enforce your rights to receive and/or pay support.
Getting the Right Amount of Support
In order to determine a proper child support amount, a family attorney will look at the child’s income level, and the parties’ combined household income. The judge will also take into account other factors, such as the child’s timesharing schedule, medical and educational needs, and any additional special expenses that are incurred by the parent with custody of the children.
The court will then use a formula to determine the amount of child support that should be ordered. In most cases, the formula will be based on the Florida Child Support Guidelines.
However, the court can deviate from the guidelines by up to five percent in some cases. In these instances, a judge must make a detailed finding as to why the deviation was necessary.
Enforcing Child Support Payments
Under Florida law, the court has the authority to garnish wages, levy on bank accounts and retirement accounts, and intercept tax refunds. Additionally, it can suspend a person’s license to drive, deny him or her a passport and attach liens against property for non-compliance with child support orders.
Unlike alimony (sometimes called spousal support), child support is not tax deductible to the paying party. In addition, the recipient of child support does not pay income taxes on the payments received.
If you are unsure of how to calculate your financial obligation, or you have questions about child support in Florida, contact a family and divorce lawyer in Miami today.
Child Support Guidelines in Miami
The guidelines are a standard set of rules that the court follows to determine the amount of support that is appropriate. These rules are based on the amount of income and other factors, and they are designed to ensure that the child support awards are fair and equitable.