Is a Working Parent Entitled to Child Support?
In Florida, both parents are financially responsible for supporting their child. For this reason, when parents get a divorce, Florida courts order one of the parents to send child support to the other parent. Usually, it is the parent who lives and spends most time with the child who receives child support. A question you may be asking yourself as a parent about to get a divorce is whether you can receive child support if you are a working parent.
So, is a working parent entitled to child support? Yes, working parents are entitled to child support. The fact that you work does not mean that the court cannot order your child’s other parent to pay child support.
How Is Child Support Determined in Florida?
Florida courts determine child support per the state’s child support guidelines, which are codified under Florida Statute 61.30. These guidelines require courts to use the “Income Shares Model” method when determining child support. With this method, the court estimates how much the parents would have spent on their child had they not divorced. After that, the court divides the amount between the parents based on their incomes. Because the amount of child support determined under the Florida child support guidelines is presumptive, often, the court must order the amount provided for in the guidelines. The court can only award an amount higher or lower if, after considering all the relevant factors, it finds the circumstances warrant it. And the court can only set an amount that is five percent above or five percent below the guidelines amount.
The following are some of the factors Florida courts consider when determining child support;
- Both parents’ income
- The cost of the child’s health insurance
- The number of children
- The cost of daycare or childcare
- The child’s timesharing-schedule
- The needs of the child
What Happens if Parents Have Equal Timesharing Rights?
This is another common question pertaining to child support that comes up a lot. If parents have equal timesharing rights, divide the expenses for the child equally, including daycare expenses and healthcare costs, and have the same financial resources and income levels, it is possible for the court to order no child support. However, this is a rare occurrence. It is more common for one parent to earn more than the other than for parents to have the same income.
Can Child Support Be Modified?
A child support order can be modified if the circumstances of either parent change after the order is issued. However, the change must be a substantial one. For example, if there is an upward or downward change in income, a parent can request child support modification. Other grounds for child support modification include changes in the child’s needs, changes in timesharing arrangements, and changes in child-related expenses.
What If a Parent Refuses To Pay Child Support?
If a parent refuses to pay child support, it is considered a violation of a court order. That parent can be held in contempt of court. Refusing to pay child support can result in several penalties, including income withholding, seizure of assets, driver’s license suspension, and jail term.
Contact an Orlando Child Support Lawyer
If you have any questions or concerns, contact our Orlando child support lawyers at the Arwani Law Firm to schedule a consultation.