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Miami Child Support

Disability and re-employment payments are income for purposes of calculating Florida child support

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

A central and interesting issue in a recent Florida appellate case involved the determination of the former wife’s income in computing Florida child support. In the case Jackson v. Jackson, 1D18-3533 (Fla. 1st DCA July 9, 2019) the former husband contended, among other arguments, that the trial court erred in failing to consider as income for the former wife her non-taxed disability and reemployment assistance payments.

Florida income deduction order must indicate how arrearage amounts and original obligations are to be treated in relation to the total percentage deducted

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

When a party falls behind on Florida support payments, he or she may be held in contempt of court. When this happens, usually the party is ordered to become current on support payments within a certain amount of time. Additionally, an amended income withholding order may be entered which allows for extra amounts to be taken from the obligor’s paycheck to satisfy any arrearage and/or attorneys’ fees amounts. This is what happened in the recent Florida family law case Moore v. Holton, 2D18-2672 (Fla. 2d DCA April 12, 2019).

Florida child support: Party's own misdeeds is not a basis to set aside a final judgment

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

Florida Rule of Family Law Procedure 12.540 allows a party to file a motion to set aside a judgment based on fraud, mistake or excusable neglect. In alleging fraud, a party must point to specific acts and show that the opposing party knowingly committed fraud. In the case Corrigan v. Vargas, 5D18-2158 (Fla. 5th DCA April 5, 2019), the appellate court reviewed a trial court’s decision to set aside a final judgment as to child support based on the father’s representation that fraud was committed in determining his income at mediation.

Florida divorce: improper venue vs. inconvenient venue

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

What is the correct venue for a Florida divorce? According to Florida law, it is the county in which the parties last resided during the intact marriage. There is an important distinction between incorrect venue and inconvenient venue as stated in the case Knapp v. Knapp, 1D17-2869 (Fla. 1st DCA February 28, 2019).

Payment plans for attorneys' fees require factual findings

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

Attorneys’ fees can be awarded in a child support case, including modification matters. In the case Scire v. Hoffman, 4D18-1606 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019), the father appealed an order awarding attorneys’ fees and costs to the mother in a modification of child support. The court awarded over $16,000 in fees to the mother, payable to the father in equal monthly installments over a 5-year period.

Ordering Florida child support requires findings to be made

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

Calculating child support in Florida is controlled by Florida Statute 61.30. The Statute goes over the type of income that will be considered in calculating support as well as any discretion the court has in adjusting the child support guidelines. The Florida child support guidelines are based on the net incomes of the parents, any daycare or medical insurance premiums being paid as well as a threshold amount of overnight timesharing being exercised by the parents.

Alimony, child support and equitable distribution overturned in Florida divorce case

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Divorce

The year in appellate cases started off strong with the case Julia v. Julia, 4D17-2261 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019) in which the former husband appealed an array of issues in his Florida divorce ranging from equitable distribution to child support to alimony. Ultimately, the former husband prevailed on appeal on the issues raised.

Florida child support: Determining the retroactive period in an administrative proceeding

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

Child support may be established via an administrative proceeding in which documents are sent to the parties by mail to establish child support. If a party disagrees with the proposed child support amount in mailed documents, he or she may request a hearing. As part of this process, retroactive child support can be established. Retroactive child support is that which was owed prior to the order being entered establishing the child support obligation. How far back can retroactive support be ordered?

Florida child support: when a party ignores administrative support proceedings

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

The State of Florida is authorized to initiate child support proceedings by serving a parent with notice of a proceeding to establish an administrative support order. This process is done by mail with a parent mailing requested proof of income and the Department of Revenue creating a proposed order to be sent to the parent who will pay child support. If the party disagrees with the order he or she can request a hearing. Because failure to respond to these documents could result in the entry of an order against a party which may not have accurate information, it is important not to ignore these mailed notices.

Florida child support: Competent, substantial evidence required to establish business losses

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

To calculate child support in Florida, a Court looks at the incomes of both parents. Income is defined by Florida Statute 61.30 and includes business income. When using business income to calculate child support, Florida law requires the court to subtract ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income from a party’s gross business income.

Do medical payments count as child support?

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

Does a parent’s obligation to pay medical expenses for a child continue beyond the child’s 18th birthday? This question was answered in the case Dixon v. Dixon, 2D16-3099 (Fla. 2d DCA 2018) where the father appealed an order requiring him to continue paying for his child’s diabetes treatment after the child reached the age of 18.

The affect of unborn children on a Florida child support calculation

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

A parent who is ordered to pay child support for one child may have other children he or she is obligated to financially support. If the parent is court ordered to pay child support for the other children, the amount that parent actually pays by court order would be deducted from his income for purposes of calculating child support. What about when a child is anticipated, but not yet born, can a court take this into consideration in calculating child support for an existing child?

Florida child support: No contempt where order is not definite or clear

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

A party who fails to abide by a court order may be held in contempt. The consequences of this can include incarceration, money fines and other sanctions. In order for a court to hold a party in contempt, there must be showing that an order mandates the party to do (or not do) something, and that party intentionally failed to comply with the order. Motions for contempt are most commonly used in Florida family law cases to enforce child support payments.

Florida child support arrears related to a domestic violence injunction

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

When a party fails to pay court ordered child support, the amount of payment that is overdue is called arrears. Arrears are considered vested, meaning the person to whom the money is owed has full rights to the funds. An interesting issue arose in a recent appellate case concerning the contention that a party owed eight years of arrears based on a temporary injunction entered in 2007.

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 family law procedure: Enforcing out-of-state contempt orders

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Family Law Procedure

The Full Faith and Credit Clause requires that a Florida court recognize another state's orders with some exceptions. In the case New v. Bennett, 1D17-3196 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018), the appellate court considered the appeal of a trial court's order denying a mother's petition to domesticate an out-of-state order that held her ex in contempt and ordered him to be incarcerated. 

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.