Child support is a legal obligation for biological or adoptive parents to support their children. Any parent involved with a divorce or custody proceeding must go through the child support determination process as child support cannot be waived in Florida. The purpose of child support is to care for the health and well-being of the child. Child support helps children in various ways, including providing funds for health care, educational expenses, food, daycare costs, and extracurricular activities.
The Child Support Guidelines determine child support payment requirements based on the parents’ gross income and the number of children who need care. Parents provide financial documents about their income during custody proceedings to determine the minimum required child support payment. Net income is determined based on salary, bonuses, self-employment income, worker’s compensation, pensions, retirement, and reemployment benefits. If one parent is unemployed or stays home, the court may impute that parent’s income based on work history, qualifications, and the median salary for full-time employees. Once the minimum child support payment is calculated, the court will determine which parent is responsible for paying it.
Parental overnights with the child
Who is responsible for paying child support is directly related to each parent’s overnights with the child. Primary parental custody is determined if one parent will spend 80% or more overnights with the child according to the parenting agreement. If a child spends more than 72 nights per year with a parent, the child support responsibility will be less. Child support payments are necessary in most cases, even if the child spends equal time with both parents. Typically, the parent who makes more money will be responsible for child support in that scenario.
Where the parent resides is also a determining factor of who pays child support. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act gives all states authority to enforce child support agreements. This means that child support orders issued in Florida will be enforced if a parent moves to another state. In addition, the state may garnish wages and take other legal action to have a parent comply with a child support order.
Needs of the child
Generally, child support is required until a child turns 18. However, if the child will turn 18 before they graduate high school, child support will need to be paid until the child graduates or reaches the age of 19, whichever occurs sooner. If the child has special needs, child support may be extended past high school graduation.
Child support attorney in Oviedo
Peppler Law P.A. is a Central Florida law firm with extensive experience with all matters of child support and family law. Figuring out child support during a divorce or separation can be a complicated issue, and our attorneys are here to help you through the legal process. We’ll provide a solution that factors the best needs for you and your children during this difficult time. Call our law office in Oviedo at 407-792-6697 to speak with a family law attorney.