The stated mission of the Florida Department of Revenue's Child Support Program is "to help children get the financial support they need when it is not received from one or both parents."
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.
If you are a parent going through divorce or separation in Florida, then you don't necessarily have to go to court in order to agree on a workable parenting plan with your co-parent. Many divorcing spouses or former unmarried partners can avoid the cost of court by reaching an out-of-court agreement.
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.
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.
In matters of child support, as in decisions related to parenting plans and child custody, the primary concern is doing what is best for the child. Sometimes the parent who receives support feels the amount being paid simply isn't enough, and sometimes the paying parent has doubts about how the money is being spent.
After you went through the process of establishing an enforceable parenting plan with your ex-spouse, you may have felt relieved that the process was finished. Matters were settled, and you could begin moving on with your life and being a loving parent without the distraction of divorce. After all, divorce decrees are supposed to be treated as permanent.
Military families can face specific kinds of challenges in child custody disputes. Because service members are so often deployed and redeployed, it is possible that judges in multiple jurisdictions will have a say in divorce and child custody matters.
When divorce decrees are made, they are meant to be permanent. However, it may be possible to modify a divorce decree with regard to child support if the financial or personal circumstances of the parties have changed. Successfully changing a Florida child support order requires careful preparation, and parents who are seeking a modification, whether it's a reduction or increase in payments, should have the help of a family law attorney throughout the process.
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.