In nearly every state, child support is determined by a formula that takes into account many other factors, which makes it imperative that anyone seeking support or paying this support present evidence to support their stance.
But it’s not uncommon for people who are going through a child support hearing to have some questions about the process.
So to help you gain a better understanding of the child support system, let’s try to answer five common questions applicable to child support in all states.
What Are Some of Factors That Go Into Determining Child Support Payments?
Some of the factors that go into determining child support payments include:
- Age of Child/Children
- Special Needs of Child/Children
- Income/Debts of Both Parents
- 55 Percent Rule – payments can’t exceed 55 percent of parent’s income
- Current Timesharing Agreement
What Happens If My Spouse and I Have Shared Parental Responsibility and Similar Incomes?
In many states, parents who have shared parental responsibility and equal income, the most likely scenario is that neither parent will pay child support or receive child support. However, if those circumstances change, a parent could petition for a modification of child support.
What Is a Modification of Child Support?
If the parent paying child support experiences a significant change in his or her circumstances such as a job loss, he or she can petition the court for a modification of the child support agreement. If successful, a judge will lower the monthly payment to reflect the change in circumstance. The parent receiving the child support can also petition for an increase in child support if he or she also experiences a significant change in circumstances.
Is Child Support Legally Enforceable?
Yes, child support is legally enforceable, and if a parent doesn’t pay what is ordered, the parent who receives the support can take the other parent to court. Typically, a judge will arrange a hearing to determine why payments aren’t being made, and if the parent doesn’t catch up or make arrangement to catch up, the court can order wage garnishment, or even in some cases, order the parent to spend time in jail.
When Does Child Support Legally End?
As of 2010, all child support orders in Florida must include an automatic termination provision specifying when the payments will end. Child support payments in most states end when a child turns 18 unless the child has physical or mental disabilities that require constant care.
The Value of An Experienced Divorce Attorney
Issues involving children in a divorce can cause conflict, because there is so much emotion when divorcing parents think about how to best protect their kids. And when it comes to child support, emotions get even more heightened because the person paying often believes that the amount is too high, or the person receiving the payments believes that the amount is too low. Regardless of which side you’re on, an experienced family lawyer can help you present evidence that can have an impact on child support payments.
The team at the Estevez-Pazos Law Firm has more than 10 years experience handling divorce cases, so we are well positioned to help you. Please contact us today at 305-717-7130 to schedule a free consultation.