In the state of Florida, it is expected that either you or your ex-spouse will pay child support. The right to this support belongs to the child, not the parent, which means that a parent cannot waive it. In most cases, one parent will be ordered to pay child support to the other, though in rare cases both parents may be asked to contribute.
The purpose of child support is to ensure that the child has the financial resources they need to live a comfortable life. This includes providing for basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter, as well as other expenses like education and extracurricular activities. In some cases, child support may also be used to cover the costs of health insurance or other medical expenses.
Asking a Florida child support attorney for help can help ensure that you are getting the full amount of support that you are entitled to. If you are owed child support, they can also help you take steps to collect what is rightfully yours.
In addition to meeting a child's basic needs, child support ensures a parent is responsible for contributing to the following expenses:
- Living expenses: Food, clothing, and ensuring the child has proper shelter
- Education expenses: This can include private school tuition, textbooks, school supplies, and other necessary fees.
- Medical expenses: Child support can help cover the costs of medical insurance premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and other necessary medical treatments or services.
- Extra-curricular activities: If your child is involved in extracurricular activities like sports or music lessons, child support can help cover the associated costs.
Some parents complain about having to pay for unnecessary expenses, but remember that the goal of child support is to make sure that your child has everything they need to live a comfortable life. These expenses go beyond ensuring the child can live - they are about giving the child the best possible chance at success in life.
Florida does not specifically mandate what the money should be used for other than the nebulous “care, maintenance, training, and education.” This means that sometimes a parent can benefit from the child support payments in ways that are not directly related to taking care of the child. If you suspect that your ex-spouse is using child support payments for their own benefit, you may want to speak to a Florida child support attorney about your options.
In some cases, a parent may try to avoid paying child support by quitting their job or working less. If you believe that your ex is intentionally unemployed or underemployed, you can ask the court to impute their income. This means that the court will assign them an income based on their earning potential, rather than their actual earnings. In extreme cases, you can request primary custody of the child if you believe that the other parent is not providing adequate care.
Child support is an important source of financial stability for many families in Florida. Both custodial and non-custodial parents need to understand what child support covers and how it is calculated. By understanding the basics of child support, parents can ensure that their children have the resources they need to thrive. If you are having difficulty collecting child support from your ex-spouse, or if you believe that you are not receiving the full amount of support to which you are entitled, a Florida child support attorney can help. They can review your case and help you take the necessary steps to ensure that your child receives the financial support they need and deserve. Additionally, if you would like to learn more about how child support is calculated in Florida, an attorney can provide you with additional information and resources. Contact us for a free consultation today.