In Florida, each parent has a duty to provide for the financial support of their children. In cases where families are split due to separation or divorce, this typically means one parent will be obligated to pay child support to the other parent for the children’s benefit.
The Florida child support structure is largely formulaic, with only limited room for deviation based on necessary circumstances. However, there are many factors that can impact a child support award. At Myers and Eichelberger, our family law attorneys have extensive experience in child support calculations and advocacy. By working closely with our clients, we are able to present the court with a clear financial picture so child support obligations are calculated accurately and fairly between the parents.
I am owed back child support after a divorce:
Normally, a dissolution of marriage (divorce) will include a clause for attorney fees if we have to enforce the order for non-compliance. This means if your former spouse is not paying their child support we may be able to take the case on a contigency and they would be required to pay our attorney fees. This way you can have an attorney and make your former spouse pay the fees since they are the one causing you to go back to court. We take the payment of child support very seriously and believe each parent should pay their fair share.
- How far back can I be liable for child support?
Typically, a child support arrearage can be assigned for up to 2 years before a petition is filed depending on the circumstances.
- How does the court determine how much child support a parent has to pay?
The court uses a mathematical formula to calculate child support based on a number of different factors, such as: the income of each parent, the amount of time the children spend with each parent, and healthcare or childcare expenses paid by one parent.
- My child’s father/mother isn’t working or is working less to try and reduce their child support obligation, can they do that?
Depending on the circumstances, the court can calculate a person’s income at a level higher than their actual income, if it finds they are voluntarily unemployed or underemployed; this is called imputing income.
- My children’s father/mother has been consistently late or behind in making their child support payments, is there anything I can do to make them provide the support consistently?
The Florida Department of Revenue operates a child support division that oversees child support obligations in the majority of cases in Florida. Depending on the circumstances, a parent can be ordered to pay their child support to the Department and the obligation can be enforced in a number of ways, including deducting the child support directly from their income or suspending their driver’s license until they come current.