Divorce and Child Support Attorney Serving Brevard County, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Rockledge, Merritt Island and Titusville
The determination of child support is one of the most important and often most contentious issues involved in family proceedings. What may come surprisingly to some, is that under Florida law, both parents have a duty and an obligation to provide child support for their biological children.
In the State of Florida, a specific formula and guidelines are used to calculate how much child support a parent pays or receives from another parent. The formula accounts for several factors, including the parents' net incomes, the degree of time sharing, daycare and health insurance costs, and other factors.
An important factor in properly determining the child support obligations of each parent comes from establishing a proper Parenting Plan. Once this is established, and the financial status of each parent is documented, an accurate calculation of each parent's obligation can be made.
Florida law currently provides that the child support calculation will change any time the paying parent has the child for at least 20% of the overnight visits. If you have multiple children, Florida law also allows for adjustment of the child support paid as each child reaches majority. If your case has not been reviewed recently it may be a good idea to have it reviewed by an experienced child support attorney.
Attorney Daniel J. Freyberg is a child support lawyer serving Brevard County. He has more than 30 years of experience in resolving child support and other related matters in the court system, both as attorney and as a officer of the court.
Retain him, and he can examine your financial records and discuss your circumstances with you, so that you can gain a clearer picture of what your child support situation should be under state requirements. He can also represent you if you are being sued by the Department of Revenue to establish, modify, or enforce child support orders.
In all cases, he will ensure that the formula is correctly administered and that all relevant income and other factors are properly considered.
Can I Modify My Child Support?
If a life situation affects your ability (or the other parent's ability) to financially provide for a child, attorney Freyberg may be able to secure a modification that can increase or decrease the amount of child support paid.
When either parent's financial situation or any other factor in their life changes significantly, they have the right to petition the court to modify their current child support agreement and either increase or decrease the amount to be paid, whatever the case may be.
Applicable situations include:
Job loss by either parent
Job promotion or raise affecting either parent
Relocation or other factors that affect the amount of time spent with a child
There are times when a modification to the court ordered child support can be worked out through mediation. However, it must be agreed upon by both parties, and the modification must still be made official, by having the court sign-off on the modification agreement.
Attorney Freyberg has spent years assisting parents in Brevard County in securing child support orders that serve their needs and those of their children. Consult with him, and he can advise if a modification is possible in your circumstance and represent your interests at any subsequent court hearings.
Enforcing Your Child Support | Defense For Inability To Pay
If your child's other parent fails to pay you required child support, attorney Freyberg can help you pursue an enforcement action. These enforcement actions can include the entry of various judgments against the parent, contempt proceedings, the accrual and collection of interest on missed support payments, garnishment of tax refunds and bank accounts, liens on worker's compensation and personal injury settlements, suspension of driver's license and occupational licenses, suspension of hunting and fishing licenses, passport suspension actions, payment of your attorney fees, and other collection actions.
Conversely, if you owe child support are are unable to pay it for some reason, he can defend you if you are sued for it. Attorney Freyberg understands child support procedures in the Florida court system, particularly in Brevard County, and he can be an asset to any child support enforcement action or defense.
SOME COMMON CHILD SUPPORT MISPERCEPTIONS
Following are some common misunderstandings I am often asked about in my practice, in True/False format:
False: If the parents have joint custody (equal time-sharing), neither parent has a child support obligation to the other parent
True: The mathematical formula for calculating child support does not change, although the result is altered by the time-sharing agreement and Order. Even with an equal time-sharing plan (often referred to as 50-50), one parent usually has to pay child support due to differences in income. Generally, the only circumstance where no child support is required is if the parents have identical or nearly identical incomes together with an equal amount of time-sharing.
False: Only one parent has a child support obligation.
True: The Child Support Guidelines take into consideration the incomes of both parties in every instance. Before calculating the ultimate responsibility for one parent to pay child support to the other, the amount of each parent’s responsibility is calculated, and the ultimate obligation is the difference between the parents’ obligations to the other.
False: Child support terminates upon a child reaching age eighteen (18).
True: If a child is enrolled in school, with a reasonable expectation to graduate from high school prior to reaching age 19, then child support continues until high school graduation. If a child cannot graduate before reaching age 19, then child support usually terminates at age 18, but in any event cannot be required past age 19.
False: No Income Withholding Order requiring direct payments for child support from a parent’s pay can be entered unless that parent has failed to pay child support.
True: The Florida Statutes state that child support “shall” be deducted from the payor’s paycheck and paid through the Florida Disbursement Unit. Whether or not there has been an event of non-payment, late payment, or under-payment, it is preferred by Florida Statute to pay in this manner. However, parties can contract for direct payment in an initial determination of child support, and either party can at will request later to change to collection by the State, generally without need for litigation, and for any reason.
False: If a parent fails to pay child support, time-sharing is suspended. Conversely, if a parent voluntarily pays child support, then the paying parent is entitled to equal time-sharing.
True: Child support and time-sharing (custody and visitation rights) are entirely separate matters. If there is a time-sharing Order, no parent has the right to withhold a child due to non-payment of child support. Voluntary payment of child support does not create a presumption regarding time-sharing. Time-sharing is determined in a Parenting Plan separately from child support.
Contact Brevard County Child Support Attorney Daniel J. Freyberg
To consult with an experienced Florida Child Support attorney, who will listen to your concerns and work closely with you to reach the best long-term solutions to your Child Support concerns, contact attorney Daniel J. Freyberg online, or call 321-459-2994.