Get Answers About Florida’s Child Support Laws from an Experienced Tampa Attorney
One of our Tampa child support lawyer will help you understand your rights in your case
There is perhaps no more contentious issue in a divorce than who gets custody of the children or how custody is to be divided. Second to child custody is typically the issue of child support. Parents may fight over what is fair or reasonable, and they may fight over how time is to be split to minimize their financial obligation. One parent may feel they are not being paid enough, and the other parent may feel they are paying too much.
The Tampa child support lawyers at the Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez can help you understand how Florida laws apply to your particular case and can explain your legal rights. By being properly informed, you can actively work with our lawyers to build as strong a case as possible.
How much child support will be ordered?
There is no hard-and-fast rule for how much child support may be ordered. A number of factors are taken into account to determine the amount, including the income of both parents, the needs of the child, day care costs, health insurance costs, and more.
Conflict often arises over what the exact needs of the child are. For example, should the parent paying support be liable for an expensive boarding school? Or a summer sleep away camp? Courts look at the reasonable needs of the child as well as the lifestyle to which they were accustomed living with both parents. Therefore, exact child support rulings can vary widely.
That’s why working with an attorney is so important. If you are seeking support, our attorneys will make a strong case showing why the order we are requesting is important to meet the best interests of the child. That will include a complete financial analysis of both parents both before and after the divorce.
I have not been getting the child support the court ordered for me. What can I do?
Work with one of our Tampa child support lawyers to take the case back to court. You can collect back child support with interest. The court may also be able to order that your former partner’s wages are garnished, tax returns are seized, or property is seized. Your former partner can even face jail time for not paying.
You have legal options outside of convincing your former partner to do the right thing. The courts can make your partner honor that commitment or pay the consequences.
I’ve been ordered to pay back child support in FL, but I feel like it’s too much. What can I do?
One of our Tampa child support lawyers can review your case to determine if any errors have been made. For example, the interest on the principal owed may have been miscalculated.
Our attorneys can also review your financial records to determine if any adjustment should have been made based on a change of circumstances. For example, you may have gone through a period of unemployment or started a job that paid less money but did not petition the court for a reduction in your support order. Our attorneys may be able to change the order retroactively and reduce the amount you owe. The possibilities vary according to the specifics of each case.
How do I modify my child support order?
Your circumstances can change after your initial child support order is issued. You may experience a reduction in your pay, or your children may no longer need the same level of care, such as children outgrowing the need for day care. You can petition the court for a modification of the child support order if there has been a “significant change” in the circumstances.
Likewise, you can petition for an increase in the support you receive if you have to pay significantly more for your child’s care or if you know that your former partner makes significantly more income.
Working with one of our attorneys can help you understand how modifications are handled and if you have cause to request one.
When can I stop paying child support?
Florida law requires that child support is paid until the child turns 18, dies, is married, or is legally emancipated. The exception is if the child is still in high school when turning 18. In that case, support should continue until the child graduates high school or turns 19, whichever comes first. Other exceptions are made for children that have severe mental or physical disabilities.
Can I get a DNA test to prove that I’m the father?
Yes, but you must request the paternity test as soon as possible when your child support case begins. If you wait until a child support order has already been issued, you may not be able to get the paternity test. Other factors can come into play, so it is important that you consult with one of our Tampa child support lawyers for advice tailored to your case.
Child support cases can become very emotional, and it is important that you work with an experienced attorney to get the answers you need and the outcome you desire. The Tampa child support lawyers at the Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez can answer all your questions and help you fight for your rights. Call us today at (813) 227-9642 or use our secure online form to schedule a consultation.