What are the reasons why the state imposes child support obligations in Florida?

St. Petersburg, FL – When both parents are not jointly raising a child together, the state imposes an obligation of child support on the parent with less custody time. This money is supposed to be used to help the parent with the majority of custody time, to pay for things like food, healthcare, education, clothing, and other necessities. However there are a number of other reasons why child support tends to be imposed. 

Use of state versus personal resources

Single mothers who do not receive child support payments from the biological father are often eligible for various forms of government funded assistance, including WIC, TANF, and SNAP. However, because these programs are funded by tax dollars, the government has a tendency to encourage the mother to locate the child’s father so that he will have to pay for these expenses, rather than taxpayers. There is only a limited amount of funding that goes to such programs each year, while child support can be paid long term as long as the parent subject to the order is working. 

The best interests of the child and financial issues

Most legal issues related to child support and custody use a standard called the best interests of the child. Judges are given guidelines related to things like financial and community stability, healthcare needs, and education to determine the best interests, but there is also room for discretion. A judge can help meet the best interests of the child by imposing a support obligation that will take care of most or all of these needs. The state also has a general interest in making sure that children are not neglected and in good health. 

Child support hearings

Once both parents will be present for the child support hearing, the main purpose is for the government to decide how much the parent with less custody time will need to pay out of their income. The judge needs to look at the income of the parents and a few other pieces of information to determine how much it will cost to raise the child. In Florida, child support payments are based on a percentage of income to determine how much the parents can afford. There can be deviations upward or downward from the standard guidelines if special circumstances are present. 

Local firms can help with child support

Anyone who is expecting to attend family court for issues such as child support payments, custody hearings, or divorce in the St. Petersburg area can contact an experienced firm for assistance. The Law Offices of Yeazell and Sweet serve local clients with professional advice and representation. 

Firm contact info:

The Law Offices of Yeazell and Sweet 

1901 Ulmerton Road, Suite 435, Clearwater, FL 33762 



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