Child support orders are based on a variety of factors, including the needs of the child and each parent's ability to support the child. In other words, a parent's child support obligation is based on the given circumstances at the time the order is made. If circumstances change -- such as an increase or decrease in either parent's income -- then a modification of child support may be in order.
Currently in Florida, the amount and duration of spousal support are determined on a case-by-case basis, and courts are not required to use any special guidelines when ordering alimony payments. If a spouse requests an alimony order through the court, the spouse must first prove that there is a need for support before a court order can be issued.
Whether you're a mother in need of court-ordered child support payments, or you're a father trying to assert your right to spend time with your child, legally establishing paternity can be extremely important in child custody proceedings.
Spousal support and child support are two common aspects of divorce decrees in Florida. Support can also be the source of a lot of frustration for both parties after the agreement is finalized. Many times the spouse who is ordered to pay support is not happy with the amount that was ordered, or the receiving spouse comes to realize that the payment needs to be higher.
Couples who are having serious trouble with their marriage are sometimes able to work things out through counseling. Misunderstandings and confusion can take hold of a relationship in unexpected ways, and sometimes a counselor is able to help spouses carefully and calmly identify their differences and resolve them.
When using Florida's child support guidelines to calculate the amount of monthly payments, the following things are considered:
For many people, divorce is the most difficult experience in life, and the emotional and legal process of ending a marriage can be particularly trying if the spouses disagree over child custody. When a custody order is already in place while the divorce is being finalized, it is extremely important that parents abide by that order. Failing to do so can have negative consequences for everyone involved.
Sometimes in particularly acrimonious divorces, the spouse who would otherwise pay a certain amount of child support purposely quits his or her job in an attempt to lower the support payments. In ordering child support, the court bases the decision in part on the separate incomes of the parties involved. By quitting a job, some people think they can get around paying support.
Social change and advances in technology continue to affect the way families are formed in Florida and throughout the country, and not every state's laws have caught up with the changes.
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: