Answering Your Child Support Questions
If you are considering a divorce, in the process of a divorce, or have been recently divorced by a court, you may have many questions regarding the child support amounts that will be awarded to help your child financially. Child support is intended to equalize the financial obligation of both parents and ensure that the best interests of a child are taken care of. Both parents deserve to have a relationship with their child, and also have a responsibility to ensure that they are taking care of their child financially. The following are some answers to common questions asked about the child support process and obligations.
Is child support always mandatory?
Yes. If a court orders you to pay child support, this is mandatory. If you fail to make your child support payments, you may face severe penalties by the court.
Can I ever modify the child support order?
Yes. The state of Florida does allow a child support order to be changed under certain circumstances. There must be a significant change in circumstances in either the parent’s or the child’s situation since the original child support order was issued. Additionally, a parent may request a child support modification in the state of Florida if it has been 3 or more years since the last child support order was issued or modified.
How is child support calculated?
The state of Florida follows specific guidelines and formulas regarding child support calculations that are directly related to the income of each parent as well as the amount of physical custody of the child each parent will have following the divorce.
What can I use child support for?
Child support payments are to only be used for the child. This can mean education expenses or activities related to the child, as well as food or clothing. While you may feel frustrated that you have to give money to your ex-spouse, this money is truly intended to support your child and allow you to have financial responsibility for the care and well-being of your child while they are not in your direct, physical care.
I’m declaring bankruptcy. Will I be able to eliminate my child support payments?
No. Child support obligations are not considered a dischargeable debt within bankruptcy proceedings. However, declaring bankruptcy may eliminate other consumer debt that you may have which will make it financially easier for you to make your child support payments.
Do I have to pay child support forever?
No. Child support typically lasts until a child reaches the age of 18, or until they finish certain academic requirements such as college. The exact time when you will not have to pay child support anymore will be clearly articulated in your divorce decree and child support paperwork.
Let Us Help You Today
If you are curious what your child support payments will be following a divorce, or need to have an existing child support order modified in any way, contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale family attorney at the office of Joyce A. Julian, P.A. at 954-467-6656 or visit us online to schedule a free consultation today.