Child Support Lawyer Fort Myers

If you are going through a divorce and thinking about child support, child custody, visitation, and your legal rights as a parent, you should consider getting assistance from a child support lawyer. Below you will find additional information on child support laws, calculations, and legal procedures in Fort Myers, Florida. You will also find information on the benefits of hiring a child support lawyer. 

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How a Fort Myers Child Support Order is Created

A Fort Myers child support order is handed to you or your spouse through a family law court. You or your spouse will have to comply with the court order and pay for the maintenance and support of your children. This court order is typically emancipated when the child turns 18. 

If you have children with your spouse, child support is a divorce issue that can require a settlement agreement between the two of you. If both of you cannot reach an agreement, the court may review your financial status and give a judgment regarding child support that you and your spouse will have to comply with or file an appeal. 

Child support orders are created after the dissolution of marriage occurs. Florida State Disbursement Unit creates a child support account for your case through which they monitor whether or not child support is being paid and received according to the Fort Myers child support order. 

The federal government can get involved in child support matters to ensure payments are made on time. The Florida child support system constitutes strict enforcement actions that can be taken against you if you do not comply with the court order.  

After the court releases a child support order, there is a date given on which you or your spouse need to start making child support payments. According to some recent changes in child support litigation, the Fort Myers courts now include information on when the child support order can self-terminate. As a result of this change in law, the parents do not have to visit court each time any of their children turn 18 years old to terminate the order. 

Paying or Receiving Child Support

Whether you or your spouse are having an amicable divorce, the state of Florida treats child support matters strictly, and you cannot legally get out of paying child support. However, if both parties agree to waive child support and it is not unfair to either party, the court may not supersede the agreement. If a parent gives up their parental rights, they are not required by law to pay child support. 

The child support order is different from the matter of child custody. If you lose custody of your children or do not want to be the custodial parent, the Fort Myers court has the right to impose child support payments on you. 

The court order self-terminates when either parent dies or if you do not have the financial resources to pay child support. You can receive payments through direct payment methods, such as a direct cash deposit from your ex-spouse, without a third party monitoring the procedure. 

However, direct child support payments can leave you battling any additional disputes regarding the child support order, such as late payments. As mentioned earlier, the Florida State Disbursement Unit monitors the process and sends the payment made by the obligor parent to the custodial parent after it is received. 

You should keep notes of the child support paid by your ex-spouse, but having a third party such as the State Disbursement Unit monitoring and processing the payments can give you the relief of receiving child support payments in time. 

If you wish to stop paying child support, you can consult with your ex-spouse to reach an agreement or file an appeal with the court regarding your limited financial resources to pay child support. You can also request that the court modify the amount of child support payment that is due. The court could review your financial state and modify the payment. 

How Child Support is Calculated in Florida

The amount of child support you or your spouse has to pay is not a discretionary decision from the court, nor can you or your spouse decide on the child support payment. The child support order is created by evaluating some crucial monetary factors regarding you and your spouse’s financial circumstances. 

The child support order can include both you and your spouse if you hold joint custody of your children. If either one of you is the primary custodial, the other may have to pay the child support. 

Criteria For Fort Myers Child Support Calculations 

  • Courts in Fort Myers, Florida, adhere to the Income Shares Method to evaluate the combined salary of both parents and the number of children they have.  
  • The court can review the salary and wages of both parents. 
  • Any bonuses or commissions received by parents as a result of their job can be taken into account by the court, including disability benefits or workers’ compensation. 
  • If either spouse is paying spousal support, that can be considered by the Fort Myers courts. 
  • Social security payments and retirement plans of each parent, such as pensions. 
  • Assets owned by each parent and their unemployment benefits. 
  • If one or both parents are self-employed, there may be additional compensation that the court could take into consideration when calculating child support.
  • Some courts in Florida also take health care insurance into consideration. 
  • If there is a history of existing child support paid by either spouse, the court may modify the payments that are due. 
  • Monthly childcare costs and child support that is paid directly by the custodial parent. 

If you have any questions about calculations for child support, it is best you contact a child support lawyer. 

Do You Have To Pay Child Support If You Have 50/50 Custody in Florida?

In Florida, the non-custodial parent has to pay child support to the custodial parent. When creating the child support order, the court takes multiple factors into consideration, such as the difference between the salaries of each parent and the financial stability of each parent. 

Having joint custody of your children with your spouse does not mean that child support is eliminated on your behalf. The number of nights each parent has custody of the minor children is a major factor in calculating child support. This is called a “gross-up method,” which is used by the courts in the state of Florida to ensure that neither parent is too burdened by child support payments in a joint custody case. 

Paying child support in a joint custody case is a default condition in any judgment of dissolution given by the Florida courts. Adhering to the time-sharing schedule given by the court does not permit you to withhold child support payments. Withholding child support payments or visitation is illegal in the state of Florida.

 According to the child support enforcement laws in Florida, the court that is handling your divorce is authorized by law to garnish your income if you are without child support payments. If you fail to comply with the court, the court can order a tax exemption. 

Contact a Child Support Attorney in Fort Myers

Hiring an experienced Fort Myers child support attorney can help you determine what kind of support you are eligible for. If you are ordered by a court to pay child support, you can consult with your child support attorney to create a strategy on how you can pay off the child support, and alimony (spousal support). 

If you want to stop paying child support, you can consult a child support attorney on possible ways to request the court to waive your child support obligations. Getting assistance from experienced child support lawyers will help you protect your rights and the rights of your children.