Brandon Child Support Attorney
No matter what kind of arrangement the parents or the courts work out for parenting and time-sharing, both parents will remain financially obligated to support their children after a divorce until the child turns 18, or longer in certain circumstances. After combining both parents’ income, accounting for the number of children and other factors, a calculation is done that typically results in one parent paying a monthly amount of child support to the other parent to help with the financial costs of raising a child.
Getting the child support calculation done right is critical to making sure each parent and all children are treated fairly and properly cared for, and that no one is improperly taken advantage of. Brandon child support attorney Stephanie Koether takes a personal interest in her clients, making sure she understands their needs and the needs of their children, and then advocating for those needs from the conference room to the courtroom. If you are seeking child support or being sought to pay support in a Brandon divorce or child custody dispute, Koether Law, P.A. is your knowledgeable advisor and powerful legal voice in the determination of child support and related legal matters.
Understanding the Florida Child Support Guidelines
The first place to look when figuring out child support is the Florida child support guidelines. The guidelines create a basic obligation based on the combined monthly net incomes of the parents and the number of children to be supported. Certain child care costs and health insurance costs are added to the basic obligation to come up with a monthly amount, and each parent’s share of child support is determined by dividing each parent’s net monthly income by the combined net monthly income.
The obligation to provide child support typically lasts until the child turns 18, although it can last longer if the child is between 18 and 19 years old but still in high school and expected to graduate before turning 19. Also, if the child is dependent on the parents for support due to a mental or physical incapacity that began while the child was a minor (such as from a birth injury or developmental disability), then the obligation to pay support can continue indefinitely. Finally, child support can last past the age of 18 if the parents agree to a longer duration.
How Koether Law Can Help
Calculating child support correctly can be a complex matter, depending on the parents’ incomes. “Income” includes money derived from just about any source, including:
- Salary or wages
- Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips
- Business income from self-employment, partnerships, close corporations or independent contracts
- Disability benefits
- Workers’ compensation benefits and settlements
- Reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation
- Pension, retirement or annuity payments
- Social security benefits
- Spousal support from a previous marriage or ordered in the current divorce
- Interest and dividends
- Rental income
- Income from royalties, trusts or estates
- and more
We can help you make sure all your income is reported completely and accurately and also that your spouse is doing the same. If you think they are intentionally underreporting or hiding income, we know the proper legal procedures and methods to uncover the appropriate amount.
Our Brandon child support lawyer can also prove invaluable if any deviation from the guidelines is being sought by either party. The guidelines amount is presumed to be an appropriate amount, but courts are well within their power to deviate up or down after considering all relevant factors. Judges can deviate by as much as five percent in their discretion or even greater by providing a written finding explaining why the guideline amount would be unjust or inappropriate.
Some of the factors the court considers in deciding whether to deviate from the guidelines amount include:
- Extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses
- A child’s independent income
- Seasonal variations in parental incomes or expenses
- Special needs, such as those associated with a disability
- The age of the child
- The station in life, standard of living, and financial status and ability of each parent
Not only can Koether Law help you work out the correct amount according to the guidelines, but if you are seeking or opposing a deviation from the guideline amount, we provide skilled and knowledgeable assistance and advocacy to help the judge make the correct decision that reflects your and your children’s needs.
Get the Help You Need With Child Support in Your Brandon Divorce
Making sure your children are adequately supported and that the amount of child support is calculated fairly and accurately is critical to your children’s future security and happiness as well as your own. Koether Law is here to make sure child support is done right and that your interests and needs are properly considered. We know that every family situation is different, and we take the time to make sure we thoroughly understand your family’s needs. For help with child support and other issues in your Brandon divorce, call Koether Law, P.A. at 813-347-8193 for a free consultation with a caring and experienced Florida family law attorney.