FAQs About Child Support in Sarasota County and Manatee County, Florida
When parents separate and divorce, child support is often sought after by one parent and then ordered by the courts. Child support laws in Florida can be difficult to understand and navigate for both parties involved. While general questions can be answered through web searches, you will need to reach out to family law lawyers in Sarasota, Bradenton, or Venice, Florida for specific legal advice and guidance regarding your child support case.
How Much Child Support Will I Have to Pay?
The exact answer to this question is unique to the finances of you and the other parent involved in the case. The courts will review the incomes of both parties after your Sarasota family law lawyer files a Family Law Financial Affidavit with the clerk’s office detailing your income, expenses, and assets. The other parent needs to do the same and then both of you need to file a Notice of Filing Child Support Guidelines Worksheet before any hearing on child support. The Court will consider the amount of overnight time-sharing being exercised in the parenting plan; monthly childcare and daycare expenses; the monthly cost of the children’s health and dental insurance; and the monthly costs for uncovered health, dental, prescription, and vision expenses for the children in figuring out what your monthly child support payment should be.
What Action Can I Take If I Haven’t Been Receiving Child Support Payments?
Although it is frustrating when the other parent fails to comply with their child support obligations, you can take action by hiring a Sarasota family law attorney to file a Motion for Contempt and Enforcement on your behalf so you can receive the child support payments that you deserve.
In Florida, once a parent is court-ordered to pay child support, they are legally bound to do so until the child reaches at least eighteen (18) years old. It is nineteen (19) if they turn eighteen (18) during high school but are going to graduate. While enforcing child support can be challenging in some cases, the parent who is ordered to provide child support can face wage garnishment, seizure of his or her tax refunds, suspension of his or her driver’s license, suspension of his or her professional license(s), purge payments, bank asset seizure, or even incarceration if they refuse to submit their child support payments.
How Do I Modify a Child Support Order?
Child support orders can be modified provided there has been a substantial change in circumstances. If you have been ordered to pay child support but are unemployed or experience a significant wage reduction, a Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, or Venice, Florida family law lawyer can file a Motion for Modification of Child Support to ask the court to lower the amount of child support ordered you’ve been ordered to child support. The same is true if you are receiving child support and your child’s expenses increase substantially, or if you’re aware of a significant increase in the other parent’s wages who is the paying child support.
Finally, if you owe a huge amount of back child support that you’re incapable of paying, a Sarasota County or Manatee County family law attorney can review your case and then determine whether any adjustments can be made to your monthly retroactive child support payment. It is possible to reduce the amount of monthly back child support paid in Florida through a court order by essentially asking the court to put you on a payment plan for the back child support owed.
Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I’m on SSI/ SSDI?
As stated before, the amount of child support ordered relies heavily upon income. If you are disabled and cannot work, your SSDI can still be garnished for child support. Naturally, you will still need funds to live on, so if there is a child support order put in place after you become disabled, then contact a family law attorney in the Sarasota and Bradenton area as soon as possible to attempt to have the order modified to a more reasonable amount in light of your disability.
In regarding to SSI, SSI cannot be garnished for child support as it is a disability benefit program for low-income individuals. However, please note that Florida does include SSI benefits when calculating income for purposes of determining child support and alimony.
Consult with Sarasota Family Lawyer Matthew Z. Martell Today!
Hopefully, this information will help you to navigate Florida child support more efficiently. However, becoming informed about child support is only the first step in addressing your child support legal problem. If you owe child support, or are due child support, in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, Florida, then contact the Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell, P.A. to discuss your specific child support case and obtain legal representation throughout your legal proceedings. Child support can be a stressful and challenging, but it is easier when you are armed with education and have a trusted attorney by your side every step of the way. Contact us at (941) 556-7020 for an Initial Phone Consultation to discuss your child support problem.