Palm Beach County Child Support Lawyer
Child support is not only an issue in divorce cases, but it can also arise in other family law matters such as timesharing modifications, paternity, non-parental custody, and relocation. In fact, Florida family courts are required to ensure an appropriate child support arrangement is reached in all family law cases involving children. Child support lawyer Georgia T. Newman has represented many clients with varying child support needs, and we can help you achieve a fair child support resolution for you and your children.
Florida Child Support Guidelines
Florida child support guidelines are standards used to determine the support needed for a child and the amount a parent has to pay to meet his or her support obligation. These guidelines are used the first time child support is ordered and every time the child support amount is modified.
The child support guidelines consider the income of both parents, the child’s health care and child care costs, and other needs for the child. In special circumstances, support amounts can be higher or lower than the guideline amounts. For example, a judge may consider a disabled child’s higher expenses as a reason to deviate from the guideline support amount.
Determining Income Available for Child Support
In Florida, child support is calculated primarily by determining the monthly net income of both parents, which is obtained by subtracting allowable deductions from gross income. The net income for each parent is then added together for a combined net income. Determining net income is fairly simple in the case of W-2 wage earners with no additional sources of income. However, determining net income can become significantly more complex when a parent is unemployed, underemployed, a business owner, or receives an irregular income.
To arrive at a fair child support resolution, you need a lawyer who is thorough and will go to work for you to obtain the necessary documents that accurately establish net income. At the Law Office of Georgia T. Newman, we have achieved successful case outcomes for clients, even when net income was difficult to prove.
Child Support Deviation Factors
In addition to basic child support obligations, parents often also have to share the obligations of additional expenses required for raising a child. The court may adjust the total minimum child support award based on deviation factors, such as:
- Extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses.
- Independent income of the child.
- Seasonal variations in one or both parents’ incomes or expenses.
- The age of the child.
- Special needs of the child.
- A timesharing plan that provides for the child to spend a substantial amount of time with either parent.
After considering all relevant deviation factors, a court may order a child support payment that varies, plus or minus five percent, from the guideline amount. If a court finds the guideline amount is unjust or inappropriate, it may order payment of child support that varies more than five percent from the guideline amount.
Consult an Experienced Palm Beach Child Support Lawyer
Because child support awards can vary significantly notwithstanding guidelines imposed on Florida family courts, consulting with an attorney experienced and knowledgeable in all aspects of Florida child support law is essential to protect your interests and ensure your children are appropriately provided for upon divorce. Please contact child support lawyer Georgia T. Newman to discuss your specific needs and concerns.