Fort Lauderdale Child Support Attorney
Fort Lauderdale family law and divorce attorney Jennifer Kane Waterway helps parents through the process of determining the appropriate amount of child support that is reasonable, fair, and meets the child’s needs. Since each parent shares the responsibility to financially support the children, the judge typically requires a non-custodial parent to pay some amount of child support to the primary residential parent.
Calculating Child Support in Florida
Like many other states, Florida uses an income shares model and statutory guidelines to determine the monthly amount of child support to be paid. This amount is calculated by a formula that basically requires combining the incomes of both spouses and then referring to the guidelines to find the monthly amount based on the number of children. Expenses for child care, children’s health insurance, and unreimbursed medical expenses are incorporated into the formula. The total amount is then divided between the parents in proportion to each person’s income or earning capacity.
It is important to know that the formula and the guidelines only establish the presumptive amount of child support; the judge has the authority to deviate up or down from the guidelines by five percent or even more if the judge finds it would be appropriate to do so. If either party is arguing for a deviation from the guidelines amount, you will need a knowledgeable lawyer on your side to advocate for your position before the judge.
You also may need legal assistance to make sure income is fairly and accurately reported. A variety of income sources are included in the guidelines, including wages, bonuses, tips, business income, and disability and workers’ compensation benefits. Particularly if one spouse is self-employed or receives income through a partnership or closely-held corporation, the way in which income is reported may be different from what is actually received. Accounting expertise may be required to make sure income is properly reported and that a parent is not paying too much or too little child support, and we work closely with accounting professionals as needed.
Experienced Legal Representation in Florida Child Support Matters
Jennifer Kane Waterway, P.A. has extensive experience helping individuals resolve the issue of child support in Fort Lauderdale and South Florida divorces, paternity actions, and post-judgment modifications. We also assist with contempt and enforcement proceedings. For advice and representation regarding your child support matter, contact Jennifer Kane Waterway, P.A.