Kissimmee Child Support Lawyer
Many families in Kissimmee will be involved with court-ordered child support at some point in time. Often, these families are going through a divorce, or are parents of a child who never married. There are several factors a court will consider when determining child support, whether the case involves divorce, custody, establishing paternity, modifying an already-existing child support order, or enforcing a child support order against a non-paying parent. Whichever situation you find yourself in, an experienced child support lawyer in Kissimmee can help you get the results you are seeking and protect your rights in court.How Child Support is Calculated in Kissimmee
Florida sets out the method of determining child support primarily through statute or law. This can make child support determinations seem like a mathematical equation and something that is easy to decide. This may not be the case. There are many factors built into the statute that a lawyer with experience in calculating child support in Kissimmee can apply to your unique situation to ensure that the child support calculated is fair and appropriate.
The first step to calculating child support is to determine the net income for both parents on a monthly basis using the guidelines set forth in the statute. Each parent will be required to submit a sworn document called a Financial Affidavit to the court and to the other party that will be used in making these calculations. A child support attorney in Kissimmee can help ensure you complete this form correctly, and equally as important, help determine whether the other parent has made any errors or omissions in their Financial Affidavit.
Once each parent’s net income is determined, both parents’ net incomes are added together and the minimum amount of support needed for the child(ren) is then determined using a table included in the statute. Each parent will be required to provide their proportionate share of the amount of support required, with the parent responsible for paying the larger share based on income to the parent making less.
This is only the beginning of calculating child support for Kissimmee parents. Several other factors are provided for in the statute and need to be taken into consideration. These include the number of overnights the child spends with each parent and certain expenses like childcare and out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses for the child. Parents may also negotiate and agree to an amount of child support themselves outside of court, and then have the court enter an order for the amount agreed to. The court will still review the amount of child support to ensure it does not fall below the minimum amount of support to be provided by the parents. An agreement entered into regarding child support should be done with the advice of a Kissimmee child support attorney to make sure you are not unnecessarily entering into an unfair agreement.
Gender of the parents is no longer a factor for child support. It is a common misbelief that only fathers pay child support and that a father could never receive child support from a mother. The calculations made and factors considered could require either parent to pay, regardless of whether that parent is the mother, the father, or the parents are the same sex.Modifying Child Support in Kissimmee Family Law Cases
Once a court has ordered child support to be paid by one parent to the other, the parents will have to follow this court order unless the court enters a new order or child support has terminated. Child support will terminate automatically once the child reaches the age of eighteen, marries, dies, or becomes self-supporting.
To modify child support in Kissimmee, the parent seeking the modification will need to file a Petition for Modification of Child Support with the court and have the other parent served with it. This will reopen the original court case. The other parent would then need to file an answer to the petition, and possibly a counter-petition. Depending on whether the parents agree on the modification, mediation or a trial may be required.
A court will not modify child support unless the parent requesting the modification can show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. The party seeking modification will also need to show that the change is permanent and something that was not anticipated at the time the court originally ordered the child support. For example, a parent receiving a temporary increase in pay due to a one-time project at work would not be grounds to have child support modified. A child who is in daycare when child support was initially awarded now going to school, significantly reducing the amount of childcare expenses, may also not be grounds for modifying child support because that change was anticipated. Examples of a substantial change in circumstances that would be permanent and unanticipated include a parent getting a new job making significantly more money or a parent becoming disabled and now only receiving disability income.
While the future may be uncertain, having an experienced Kissimmee child support lawyer represent you now may help avoid needing to have child support modified later on, saving you a significant amount of money in attorney’s fees and expenses down the road. If a modification does become necessary, a skilled attorney can make the process as easy and efficient as possible to avoid unnecessary expenses and stress.Enforcement of Child Support by Kissimmee Courts
When a parent is failing to pay their court ordered child support, serious consequences can result. A Motion for Contempt is the most common way of enforcing a child support order in Kissimmee. There are defenses available to a parent who is court-ordered to pay child support but is unable to do so, and a parent in that position should consult with a Kissimmee child support attorney immediately to determine what their options are to avoid harsh consequences from the court.Contact Us Now for Your Free Consultation
Here at My Florida Family Attorney, Adams & Luka, P.A., our Kissimmee child support attorneys have extensive experience handling child support issues in every type of situation. This includes child support that arises in divorce, establishing paternity and custody between unmarried or separated parents, child support issues between same-sex couples with children, parents who are not receiving child support that the other parent was court-ordered to pay, or a parent who is failing to meet their court-ordered obligations. Our child support attorneys will take the time to listen to your needs and the circumstances unique to you and your children and develop a plan to get the results that you deserve. Contact us now for a free consultation 24/7 at 407-872-0303 or 352-357-4084 to get our attorneys started on your case now. We represent child support cases throughout Central Florida.