Tampa Child Support Lawyer
If you are a parent in Tampa, you have a legal–and a moral–obligation to provide for your minor child financially, even if you are not living with the child or do not spend time with the child on a regular basis.
In order to ensure that both parents are satisfying this obligation, courts will issue child support orders. At the law offices of de Beaubien, Simmons, Knight, Mantzaris & Neal, LLP, our Tampa child support lawyers can guide you through the law as it pertains to child support, including how a child support amount is decided, who is required to pay child support, and how you can request or modify a support order.
Calculating Child Support in Florida
In Florida, it is the non-custodial parent who is liable for making child support payments (the custodial parent is assumed to be supporting the child by virtue of having custody). The amount of child support that a non-custodial parent will be responsible for is based on the combined monthly income of both parents and the number of children for whom support is being provided. A child support guidelines chart is published online by the Florida courts. An example of how payment is calculated follows:
Both parents have a combined monthly available income of $6,000, and are only responsible for supporting one child. According to the guidelines, this child is entitled to $1,121 in child support. Rather than having the non-custodial parent be responsible for the entirety of this amount, though, the parent is responsible for the amount that is reflective of their proportion of income. For example, if the non-custodial parent contributes $4,000 of the $6,000, or ⅔ of it, they would be responsible for ⅔ of the 1,121, or approximately $747.
These guidelines can be deviated from when appropriate.
Child Support Is Mandatory
It is important to note that child support is not optional, and once a support order is issued by a court, it must be followed. Making child support payments on time and in full is alwaysrequired. In fact, failure to make a child support payment in full or on time can have legal and financial consequences.
Modifying a Child Support Order
In some cases, a child support order can be modified. However, modification is only permissible when a significant change in circumstances has occurred that warrants such a change. For example, if one parent loses a job or suffers a disability that prevents them from earning the income that the original support order is based on, modification may be appropriate.
Call Our Tampa Child Support Lawyers with More Questions
If you have more questions about Tampa child support laws and how much you may be asked to pay, or how you can ask a non-custodial parent to start making child support payments, call our law firm. Our experienced attorneys are well-versed in the state’s family laws and are ready to represent you.