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Child Support

Melbourne Attorney Advises Parents on Child Support Issues

What is included in a Florida support order?

Both parents are obligated to meet the financial needs of their minor children. The specific terms are usually based on parents’ total income, how many children they have together and what share of the total income each parent earns. At Joan Berry Nassar, P.A. in Melbourne, I handle a full range of child support matters for paying and recipient parents. Whether you are in the midst of a divorce or need help revising or enforcing an existing order, I can help.

How are child support payments calculated?

Both parents must file a financial affidavit reflecting monthly income, expenses, assets and liabilities to provide the information needed for the state’s child support formula. Other factors that affect the rate include:

  • Timesharing schedule — The child support amount is calculated after the timeshare schedule (or parenting plan) is established. To understand how much money should be paid to a custodial parent, the court must know how many overnights the child will spend in each parent’s home.
  • Health and dental insurance premiums — Typically, one parent will be responsible for providing health and dental insurance coverage for their child. The amount that the providing parent pays for their children’s premiums is incorporated into the child support order so that each side bears their share of insurance costs. Any out of pocket medical/dental expenses incurred for the child will be paid separately by percentage based on the income of each party.
  • Child care costs — Monthly child care required for employment or educational purposes is also included in the child support calculation. This includes after school care.

Other issues to consider when addressing child support:

  • The cost of extracurricular activities
  • Child tax credits and the effects of dependents on parents’ tax obligations
  • Life insurance policies for each parent
  • Specific factors not reflected in the general formula but deemed important by the court

My firm can assist you in understanding the child support guidelines and litigate, enforce or modify child support orders.

When does a child support obligation end?

Child support is paid until a child reaches 18 years old. A court may require payment of child support past 18 years of age if the child is dependent because of mental or physical incapacity which began before reaching 18, or if the child is between 18 and 19, is still in high school, performing in good faith and is reasonably expected to graduate before the age of 19.

Can child support be changed in Florida?

If there is a substantial change of circumstances that occurs after the entry of a child support order, the child support may be modified. This is usually due to a change in parenting time arrangements or the financial circumstances of one of the parties. To obtain a revision of the order, the new circumstances typically must result in a shift of at least 15 percent (but no less than $50) in the child support rate. So if you were fired from your job, have your child in your home for a greater amount of time or have experienced some other change that affects the child support formula, my firm can assist you with a modification of child support.

Addressing college expenses in a child support order

Under Florida law, parents are not required to pay for their son or daughter’s college tuition or other expenses once they reach age 18. However, given the cost and importance of higher education, many parents choose to include terms regarding college funding as part of their child support agreement. My firm can examine your particular circumstances and your child’s plans to see if this is right for you.

How child support payments are made

Child support may be paid directly to the other parent or through the State of Florida Disbursement Unit, a record keeping facility that keeps a record of the child support payments and charges a small fee for facilitating the payment. Payments may also be diverted directly from the paying parent’s wages.

Contact an experienced Florida family lawyer to schedule a consultation

At the Law Office of Joan Berry Nassar, P.A. in Melbourne, I help clients with child support matters, aiming for an outcome that benefits them. Call my firm at 321-405-0042 or contact me online to schedule a consultation.

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