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Child Support

Ordering Florida child support for a child who does not reside in-state

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

If a child does not live in Florida, can a court still order that child support be paid for that child? The answer depends on where the parents reside and whether or not the court has jurisdiction over the parents. As we see in the case Keogh v. Keogh, 5D18-1080 (Fla. 5th DCA 2018), when it comes to deciding whether or not there is jurisdiction to establish a Florida child support order, where the child resides is not the determining factor. 

Lump sum child support award in Florida

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

Is it possible to award lump sum child support in Florida? This was an issue considered in the recent case Masnev v. Masnev, 4D17-1238 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018) in which the former husband appealed, among other issues, an award of lump sum child support to the former wife. 

Florida child support: Imputing income to an unemployed or underemployed parent

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

When a parent is not working, how is Florida child support calculated? The Florida Statutes state "Monthly income shall be imputed to an unemployed or underemployed parent if such unemployment or underemployment is found by the court to be voluntary on that parent’s part, absent a finding of fact by the court of physical or mental incapacity or other circumstances over which the parent has no control." We see this statute applied in the case Heard v. Perales, 4D17-3115 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018). 

Paying Florida child support for a child who lives with you?

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

What happens if after a child support order is entered, a child starts living with the parent who is ordered to pay child support? Child support payments are awarded based in part on who has primary residential custody of the child. In the case Moody v. Moody, 1D17-2477 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018), the court considered an appeal of an order granting a motion for contempt against a father who stopped paying child support for a child who came to live with him. 

Make sure your retroactive Florida child support is calculated correctly

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Support

Retroactive child support in Florida can be ordered dating two years prior to the date of a petition to establish child support. This is support that applies in the past - for every month that a parent was supposed to be paying support that he or she was not, the court can order that a parent pay that amount as a lump sum or in monthly installments. Calculating retroactive support requires the court to look at the incomes of the parties during the retroactive period. 

When a parent cannot be held in contempt for failure to pay child support

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

Once a Florida child support order is entered, the party responsible for paying child support must keep up with his/her payment obligation to avoid a motion for contempt. Motions for contempt can result in sanctions such as suspension of a driver's license and even incarceration. Specific findings must be made, however, in order for a court to hold a party in contempt for non-payment of child support as we see in the case Crawford v. Crawford, 219 So.3d 224 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017). 

Ordering an incarcerated parent to pay Florida child support

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Support

Can a parent in prison be ordered to pay Florida child support? This was a topic discussed in the case Wilkerson v. Wilkerson, 220 So.3d 480 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017). When a parent is incarcerated, a dilemma arises wherein a child needs support, but the imprisoned parent is unable to earn a wage to pay that support. 

Modifying Florida child support after the child's 18th birthday

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Support

When a child turns 18 before graduating from high school, does a Florida family court have the ability to extend support beyond the child's 18th birthday? It used to be argued that if the petition to extend was filed after the child turned 18, the court had no jurisdiction to modify the child support. However, DOR v. Jackson, 217 So.3d 192 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017) clarifies this issue. 

Can I request a DNA test if I am paying Florida child support?

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Support

When a man believes he is not the father of a child for whom he is paying child support, can he request DNA testing? The answer depends, among other factors, on why he is requesting the test and what steps he's taken after finding out that he is not the biological father. In the case Meeker v. Meeker, 214 So.3d 766 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017), we review a trial court's decision to order a DNA test in a proceeding to enforce an out-of-state child support order. 

Florida child support: imputation of income to an underemployed parent

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Support

What type of income is credited to a parent in calculating Florida child support? The answer is, pretty much all income. As illustrated in the case Schafstall v. Clifford-Schafstall, 211 So.3d 1108 (Fla. 2017), payments made toward living expenses by a third party on behalf of a parent can be credited to a parent for purposes of calculating child support.

Properly pleading for modification of Florida child support may save time and money

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Support

A general rule followed in Florida family law cases is that you must put the other party on notice as to what relief you are seeking before that relief can be granted. Therefore, a Florida family court can only consider at trial those issues which were properly raised by the parties in their pleadings or those issues the parties agreed to try by consent.

Is Miami child support allowed past age 18?

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Support

Until what age can a parent be obligated to pay child support in Florida? Generally, once a child turns 18, a parent is no longer responsible for paying support, with some exceptions. In the case Garcia-Lawson v. Lawson, 211 So.3d 137 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017) we review a former wife's appeal of a final judgment denying her request for retroactive child support over three years after the parties' child turned 18. 

Retroactive modification of Florida child support

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Support

When child support is calculated based on the amount of overnights each parent spends with the child(ren), a change in the overnight schedule may result in modification of the child support payments.  This was examined in the appellate case Knight v. Knight, 208 So.3d 1278 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017) in which the court considered the father's challenge to a modification of his child support obligation, retroactive to the date he stopped exercising his court-ordered equal time-sharing. 

Asking for deviation from Miami child support guidelines

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Support

While Florida child support calculations are, in a way, "no nonsense" since they are based on a mathematical formula, there is still room for variation based on the particular financial circumstances of each party. Knowing how to ask the court for a deviation from the child support guidelines is the first step. 

What income is subject to Florida child support calculations?

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Support

The calculation of Florida child support involves examination of the incomes of both parents and the deductions allowable to each in arriving at their respective net incomes. What types of income are considered in calculating child support, along with deductions available to each parent, is a comprehensive list.