Seminole Child Support Attorney
Making sure your children are cared for and supported after a divorce is paramount when you are ending a marriage and starting a new phase of life with a family dynamic that looks very different than it did before. Custody and visitation (parenting and timesharing) must be worked out, amicably if possible, but equally important is making sure your children get the financial support they need. Whether you are the parent who will be paying support or the parent receiving support on behalf of your kids, you want to know that you are being treated fairly and that the children are getting the proper amount of support under the applicable law that meets their needs. Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff can help with that. Call our experienced Seminole child support attorney today for answers to your questions, practical advice, and professional guidance through the process of determining child support in your Pinellas County divorce.
Calculating Child Support in Florida
The first place parents, and the courts, turn to when calculating child support is the Florida Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines include all the worksheets, forms, tables and schedules needed to gather up all the financial and related information necessary for the calculation of child support. This data is put into a complex formula that calculates child support based on the combined incomes of the parents, how many children there are to support, how much timesharing each parent will have, and various costs incidental to child-rearing, including healthcare, health insurance, daycare, after-school care, and a child’s special needs, if applicable. The result is a monthly amount of financial support that one parent will be ordered by the court to pay to the other.
Our child support lawyers can guide you through the complex task of following the child support guidelines and its complicated formula. These guidelines require each parent to report all their income, regardless of its source, which can be challenging and confusing for some. For instance, if you or the other parent are self-employed, derive business income, own investment property, or receive deferred compensation, expert assistance can be necessary to make sure the formula is completed correctly. If either parent is unemployed or underemployed, it might be necessary to impute an income to them corresponding to their education and training. We can assist you in the complex process of calculating child support, and, just as importantly, we can help ensure that your child’s other parent is disclosing all the income they should.
Challenging and Changing the Child Support Calculation
The amount of child support calculated by the guidelines is presumed to be an appropriate amount, but this presumption can be challenged and overcome. The parents together can agree to a different amount (higher or lower), which the court can approve so long as the judge is convinced the proposed amount is suitable. It’s also possible that the parents disagree over what the proper amount should be. If they take the matter to court, it will be up to the judge to decide whether to deviate from the guidelines after reviewing evidence and hearing arguments from both sides. The litigation experience possessed by the former prosecutors at Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff can prove invaluable when you find yourself in court litigating the question of how much child support should be ordered.
Florida child support law allows the court to deviate upward or downward from the guidelines by up to five percent based on factors such as the age of the child, their standard of living and station in life, any special medical expenses or other needs, each parent’s financial situation, the percentage of timesharing for each parent, and more. The law also authorizes the judge to choose an amount that is more than five percent distant from the guidelines amount if convinced the amount in the guidelines is unjust or inappropriate. Our Seminole child support attorneys will build a strong case and advocate for a just result for you and your children, including if you are seeking or challenging a deviation from the guidelines.
Contact Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff Today
For help with child support in your Pinellas County divorce, from amicable agreements to courtroom litigation, Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff is here for you with practical advice, technical assistance, and dedicated, effective representation. Contact our experienced Seminole child support attorney today.