Joint Custody & Florida Child Support
Going through a divorce with minor children is not easy for anyone involved, even if the divorce is amicable. Discussions over asset division can take time and drain the mental and emotional resources of both spouses and the children. Child support can be one of the hottest topics during proceedings, potentially turning routine hearings ugly. There is a pervasive myth that child support will not be ordered if the parents share custody, but this is only a myth.
Child Support Will Be Awarded
Child support can be expensive, and the formula by which a court calculates the appropriate payment can seem hopelessly complex to the average person. However, this right is seen as critically important in Florida and most other states – the right belongs to the child, not the parents, and it is held to be in the best interests of the child to have a standard of living as close to that had during the marriage as possible.
Because of this wish for the child or children involved in divorce, child support will almost always be ordered unless the parents’ financial situations are roughly identical. There is a list of factors that a judge must consider when determining a parenting plan, but the financial situation is one of the most important – the amount of time the child spends with each parent is another.
Is Modification Possible?
If you are concerned about the amount of child support ordered in your case, you may be unable to make adjustments, at least for a short period of time. Florida child support is decided in most cases by adhering to the state’s guidelines, which take into account factors like the parents’ net income, the child’s healthcare costs, and the standard needs of a child of that age. The overall amount is meant to ensure that the child’s needs are met – importantly, even if it means placing the parent in a less-than-ideal position (though it will never put a parent in a position where they cannot support themselves).
That said, the amount is not set in stone. It is possible to file for a modification if you are able to establish that you have experienced a “substantial change in circumstances” – that is, a life change (most often financial) that renders it impossible or impractical to pay the previous amount of support. Some of the most common examples are the loss of a job, the diagnosis of a disability (or the worsening of one; for example, if cancer was in remission and then returns), or another significant reduction in income.
Contact A Hollywood, FL Child Support Attorney
A good parent wants their children to have the most comfortable life possible, but may still have trouble meeting a support obligation that is too onerous, even if they share joint custody. If you have questions about your child support situation, contacting a Hollywood family attorney from the Law Offices of Steven A. Mason, P.A. can be the first step toward getting them answered. Contact our office today to speak to an attorney.