Child support in Florida is usually calculated using strict guidelines, factoring in such things as the child’s annual health care costs and the number of overnight stays the child has at each parent’s house.
It is important to work with an attorney to make sure that the right numbers are fed into this calculation. Once these figures are set, that is the amount that will have to be paid until the child reaches age 18. The amount can be modified by filing a motion with the court – The Marin Law Firm, P.A., can help you do this – but the amount must still be paid. Child support is one of the few obligations that can’t be reduced or eliminated by bankruptcy or other means.
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Factors to Deviate From Child Support Guidelines
Increasingly, parents are seeking to depart from child support guidelines because something else is happening in the child’s life. Children with extraordinary medical, dental, educational or other needs may require a higher level of support. In Florida it is not uncommon for very talented kids to join traveling baseball teams, or to seriously study piano or ballet. These very expensive activities are important to the child’s future, and parents will be interested in seeking a higher level of support. Before deciding to deviate from child support guidelines, consult with an experienced Orange County, Florida child support lawyer.
Modifying Child Support Orders in Orange County
Another reason to deviate is that the child is earning a significant amount of money somehow – working in a restaurant, helping with landscape work, making money as a model – and has enough income to pay for his or her own expenses. Parents may then seek modification to a lower level of support.
Ordinarily the court does not grant more than a 5 percent leeway from support guidelines. But in special cases like those mentioned, the guidelines may be set aside.
How important is child support in our society? It is one of very few obligations that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy or contracted away. It can only be modified by a petition to the court that issued your divorce decree.
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