Awarding Child Support in Domestic Violence Cases
Parents are always obligated to provide financial support for their minor children. This is true even if the couple in question is embroiled in a domestic violence case. In fact, while many people associate child support orders with divorce, courts actually can address these types of matters in other legal contexts, including domestic violence hearings. Unfortunately, some individuals attempt to use these proceedings as an excuse to limit their partner’s access to the couple’s children, while also forcing the child’s other parent to provide more financial support, which can have devastating consequences for the accused. If you find yourself in this situation, it is critical to speak with an experienced Seminole domestic violence lawyer about your financial obligations and legal options.
Awarding Temporary Child Support
When it comes to domestic violence cases, in which the couple in question share children, Florida courts generally focus on temporary support. For instance, petitioners are allowed to seek temporary child support when seeking a restraining order, but only if the respondent is the child’s:
- Legal parent;
- Adoptive parent; or
- Guardian by court order.
In fact, judges are required to address temporary child support in any domestic violence hearings if the petitioner requests it. If the petitioner doesn’t request it, on the other hand, judges are not permitted to address child support unless the respondent:
- Is present; and
- Waives notice.
In the event that a judge does address temporary child support at a domestic violence hearing, he or she can also choose to calculate payments at that time by assessing the financial affidavits provided by the parties and applying the state’s child support guidelines. If the court does choose to order child support, the respondent must be notified when his or her first payment is due and where the payment should be sent. Courts are also directed to provide additional information to respondents, including:
- That the child support obligation will end when the injunction expires, or a support order is entered in another case;
- What options the court has for enforcing the order; and
- The responsibilities of the petitioner and respondent to tell the judge if the award needs to be modified.
Courts have a few different options when it comes to enforcing compliance with a temporary child support order, but the most common is a system that initiates compliance checks at key points through an automated electronic system or a manual case file system. The court will also set a series of compliance hearings, which the respondent is required to attend and then provide documentation proving that support is actually being paid. If a respondent can provide this proof before the scheduled review hearing, he or she could be excused from attending the hearing at all.
Contact an Experienced Seminole Domestic Violence Lawyer
To speak with an experienced Seminole domestic violence attorney about your own financial obligations to your child or partner after being accused of domestic violence, please call the dedicated Seminole domestic violence lawyers at Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff. You can reach our office by calling 727-330-6502 or by sending a message to email@example.com today.