Tampa, FL – When a couple finds that only one parent will have custody of a child long term, support payments will be ordered to ensure that the non-custodial parent helps pay for things like food and clothing, nourishment, educational expenses, and health insurance. Child care or daycare can also be another significant expense that is factored into the payment.
Florida’s child support guidelines
The state’s child support guidelines are listed in the Florida Statutes Chapter 61. They consider a number of factors to come up with a support amount. In many cases, this will be set as a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income, to ensure that they are able to afford to make regular payments.
The child’s age is also relative to its needs, as considered in the state’s standard needs table. Expenses can obviously change as the child grows and enters different school systems and has new responsibilities.
Calculating income and payments
The income amount that is used from the non-custodial parent considers all wages from employment, but it can also include money that the parent receives from benefits, rental property, investments, and other assets. The total monthly payment is based on a percentage of all of these combined sources of income. The custodial parent’s income is also considered as well, which will normally prevent a high earning parent from taking too much of the other parent’s income if it is not needed.
Deviation due to exceptional needs
There are times when the standard payment amounts may not be enough based on a child’s educational or healthcare needs. This is common if the child has additional or special needs. The court can order a larger amount to meet these additional payments, or the parents can agree to these payments on their own to ensure that all of these expenses will be paid on the child’s behalf. There needs to be a finding of “extraordinary” expenses, or other factors such as seasonal or travel costs.
Preparing for a support determination and related hearings
Whether a parent expects to have primary custody of a child or share the custody duties with another parent, it is important to prepare thoroughly for these hearings with the help of an attorney. Financing a child’s future is a serious matter, and a payment can be difficult to modify once it is put in place by a family court judge.
Getting more information from a local family law attorney
There are lawyers in the Tampa area who provide advice related to child support and custody, divorce, alimony payments, and other common family law problems. The Law Offices of Yeazell and Sweet is an experienced firm that assists clients with representation and guidance.
Firm contact info:
1901 Ulmerton Road, Suite 435, Clearwater, FL 33762