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Plantation Family Law Blog

On what grounds can a child support order be modified?

Modifying a divorce order -- whether it deals with spousal support, child custody or child support -- tends to be a complicated matter. For child support, Florida has a legal formula that we call the child support guidelines. The guidelines account for these factors:

  • Both parents' incomes
  • The number of children to be supported
  • The costs of child care, including health care

The guidelines are used to set up a baseline amount, though the amount of child support could be lower or higher than the amount generated by the formula, depending on factors such as special needs the child may have. A child support order can also be modified under certain provable circumstances, which we'll consider here.

Can a parent coordinator help resolve your child custody dispute?

In the last 10 years, much has changed in Florida law with regard to child custody arrangements in divorce proceedings. It used to be that the judge's job was mainly to divide up the parents' control over their children. The result was that one parent was essentially awarded more rights than the other.

These days, however, the courts focus more on establishing parenting plans that include both parents as much as possible. Of course, in some cases, issues such as drug addiction or domestic violence make one parent unfit to protect the best interests of the child. Most of the time, though, the courts will encourage the parents to work together to establish a detailed parenting plan.

Has your ex fallen behind on child support?

If your ex-spouse has ever fallen behind on child support payments, then you may have considered taking him or her to court. Depending on individual circumstances, a single missed payment could place a significant financial burden on a custodial parent, not to mention a series of missed payments.

In any case, protecting the child's best interests should always be the top priority, and custodial parents should not be afraid to do what is legally necessary to provide for their children. Ideally, parents who don't see eye to eye on financial and other matters will be able to shield the child from parental disputes. However, sometimes full-on family conflicts arise from money concerns.

Court rules in custody case where both parents kidnapped girl

Many parents in Florida have had to deal with an international child custody dispute. These cases typically involve a parent taking their child to another country, in violation of a court-ordered child custody or visitation plan and over the objections of the other parent.

The custody laws of the countries involved can differ, and orders from a U.S. court may not be honored where the child is currently living. Thus, international custody cases can be complex and take a long time to resolve, though many determined parents have had their kids returned to them.

County jail introduces computer visitation time for inmates

Most Florida parents who wish to see their children can do so, if not every day, than on a regular basis as part of a child custody or visitation time arrangement. But some parents cannot spend regular visitation with their kids, because they are incarcerated, either because they are convicted of a crime or they are awaiting the resolution of their case.

A county jail in another state is turning to modern technology to give its inmates a brief glimpse of home. The jail has started offering Internet video sessions between inmates and their families and friends. The county sheriff describes the initiative as a “win-win for everyone.”

Man in jail because his employer failed to deliver child support

It is common for parents who have been ordered to pay child support to have those payments taken directly out of his or her paycheck. This is called garnishment. It can be an easy and convenient way for the payor to avoid missing a payment. Failure to pay child support could eventually have consequences like jail time, making it a serious matter, not to mention a serious financial strain for the children and the parent with custody.

One father is headed to jail for six months because his ex-wife and 12-year-old son did not receive thousands of dollars of child support. But the nonpayment was due to his employer’s mistake, not anything he did. Nevertheless, he had no choice but to surrender to authorities on June 24 and prepare to spend time behind bars.

Florida Supreme Court may hear same-sex divorce bid

If your home state does not recognize your marriage as valid, you may not be able to obtain a divorce there. This would prevent you from getting married again. It would also leave you with no child custody or child support order, if you are a parent. Without an official divorce, your ability to raise and support your child could be dependent on the whims of your ex.

Florida is not one of the 18 states that currently recognize same-sex marriages. The flip side of this is that same-sex couples that married in another state cannot get a divorce in Florida, because doing so would arguably be a legal recognition of the validity of the marriage -- opening the door to allowing same-sex marriages to occur in the state.

Text encouraging child support payments rub dads the wrong way

Receiving all of the child support to which they are entitled is obviously in the best interests of the children getting those payments. It is also arguably in society’s best interests. Custodial parents who are not getting financial support from their children’s other parent often struggle financially, and may need to turn to public relief for help with basic necessities.

Because of this, so-called “deadbeat” parents often are pursued for unpaid child support when the mother or father of their children is receiving welfare benefits. But a recent attempt to encourage parents to catch up on their obligations is not sitting well with some fathers in another state.

Divorce, child obesity linked in international study

As readers know, divorce can have a serious emotional impact on the children. Though it may be the best thing for the family, divorce is often traumatic for the divorcing couple’s sons and daughters. Some children may turn to food for comfort, an unhealthy habit that can lead to excessive weight gain.

A new study suggests that children of divorce, especially boys, are more likely to be obese than other kids. Researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health found that boys were 63 percent more likely to be overweight or obese than average. Their stomachs are reportedly more likely to hold extra fat; boys whose parents were divorced were more than twice as likely to be “abdominally obese,” as HealthDay puts it.

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