Miami Child Support Lawyers
Child support is a right belonging to the child, and both parents have a duty to provide support to their child(ren). Accordingly, Florida courts have held that agreements waiving a duty of support are voidable as against public policy. If you have questions or concerns regarding child support payments, Hoffman & Hoffman can assist you. Contact our Miami child support lawyers today for a consultation.
In Florida, the child support statute provides statewide mandatory guidelines for minimum child support amounts. The amount of child support that must be paid pursuant to the guidelines is based on: (1) the number of children; (2) the combined income of the parties; and, (3) the number of overnights that each parent has with the child(ren). The following estimation is a good rule of thumb as to the guideline amount of child support:
- 1 child = 22% of payor’s net income
- 2 children = 32% of payor’s net income
- 3 children = 41% percent of payor’s net income
A court may order a parent to pay child support retroactive to the date that the parents no longer resided together, not to exceed a period of 24 months prior to the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Petition for Establishment of Paternity. The court must apply the child support guidelines that are in effect at the time of the hearing in determining the amount of retroactive support that is owed; however, the obligor has the right to provide evidence of his or her actual income during the retroactive time period.
If the court determines that retroactive child support is owed, the obligor’s child support obligation will generally be increased by 20% until his or her retroactive obligation has been paid in full. For example, if a parent is required to provide $500 per month in child support and the parent’s retroactive child support obligation is $1,000, then the obligor’s monthly child support payments will increase to $600 per month (i.e., 20% of $500) until the $1,000 retroactive obligation has been paid in full. In the alternative, a lump-sum payment of retroactive support may be awarded if the court finds that the obligor has the ability to pay his or her retroactive obligation in full.
Income Withholding Orders (IWO)
Unless the parties enter into an agreement which provides that child support will be paid directly to the obligee, the trial court will enter an income withholding order. An income withholding order secures the payment of child support by directing the obligor’s employer to deduct the obligor’s child support obligation directly from his or her paycheck and to remit the funds that were deducted directly to the obligee.
Termination of Child Support Obligation
The obligation to pay child support generally continues until the child turns 18; however, F.S. 743.07(2) provides that a court may require support beyond the age of 18 for a child who is between ages 18 and 19 and still in high school. Our experienced Miami child support lawyers can help you with the termination of support as well as with any other questions you may have.
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