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Child Support

St. Augustine Child Support Attorney

Committed to Helping Parents Throughout St. Johns County

Florida law requires that both parents provide financial support to their children. The amount of support that a parent is required to pay is based on the state’s child support guidelines, which take into account the parents’ incomes, the child’s needs, and other factors.

At Owenby Law, P.A., we understand how important child support is to you and your family. Our St. Augustine child support attorneys are dedicated to helping parents throughout the St. Johns County area with all of their child support needs, including establishing, modifying, and enforcing child support orders.

Call our office at (904) 674-8779 or contact us online to learn how we can assist you during a child support case in St. Augustine or the nearby areas.

How Is Child Support Calculated in Florida?

Florida law requires the use of child support guidelines to determine the amount of child support that a parent is required to pay. These guidelines take into account several different factors, including the parents’ incomes, the child’s needs, and the amount of time that each parent spends with the child.

When determining child support, the court will consider factors such as:

  • The parents’ incomes, including their salaries, wages, and any other earnings
  • The parents’ assets and financial resources
  • Each parent’s earning potential
  • The child’s standard of living before the parents divorced/separated
  • The child’s age and needs
  • The child’s health and any special needs
  • The child’s educational needs
  • The child’s childcare expenses
  • The child’s health care expenses
  • Each parent’s financial resources and obligations
  • Each parent’s other children
  • Each parent’s tax filing status
  • Each parent’s health care and child care costs
  • Any other relevant factors

Remember, child support in Florida is not tax-deductible for the paying parent and is not considered taxable income for the receiving parent. Additionally, child support payments are not meant to cover the cost of college tuition and expenses. However, parents can agree to pay for college expenses in their divorce agreement, and the court can enforce this agreement.

How Do I File for Child Support in Florida?

If you are a parent who needs to establish a child support order, you will need to file a petition with the court. This petition will ask the court to establish a child support order and will also ask the court to determine the amount of child support that you are entitled to receive.

Once you have filed your petition, you will need to serve the other parent with a copy of the petition and a summons. The other parent will then have the opportunity to respond to your petition.

If you and the other parent agree on child support, you will need to submit a child support agreement to the court. If you are unable to agree, the court will hold a hearing to determine the amount of child support that you are entitled to receive. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present evidence and make arguments to support your case.

Once the court has determined the amount of child support that you are entitled to receive, it will issue a child support order. This order will direct the other parent to make child support payments to you. It is important to note that child support payments must be made in the manner specified in the court order. If the other parent fails to make the required payments, you may need to take additional legal action to enforce the order.

When Can You Modify Child Support in Florida?

Either parent may request to modify a child support order at any time. However, to do so, you must show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the child support order was issued.

Some common reasons to request a child support modification include:

  • One parent has lost his or her job
  • One parent has become disabled
  • One parent has received a significant increase in income
  • One parent has had another child
  • One parent has been incarcerated
  • One parent has died
  • The child’s needs have changed
  • The child’s health care or child care expenses have changed

If you can show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances, the court will recalculate the amount of child support that is owed. The court will then issue a new child support order that reflects the new child support amount. Keep in mind that the court cannot modify a child support order retroactively. As such, you must request a child support modification as soon as you become aware of the substantial change in circumstances.

How to Enforce a Child Support Order in Florida

Unfortunately, some parents fail to make the child support payments that they are required to make. If the other parent has fallen behind on child support, you may need to go to court to enforce the child support order. The court has several tools that it can use to enforce a child support order, including wage garnishment, tax refund interception, and suspension of the other parent’s driver’s license.

Some other ways to enforce a child support order include:

  • Filing a motion for contempt
  • Filing a motion to enforce
  • Filing a motion for civil contempt
  • Filing a motion for criminal non-support

If you need to enforce a child support order, our St. Augustine child support lawyers can help. We have extensive experience handling child support cases and can help you take the appropriate legal action to enforce the child support order.

How Long Does Child Support Last in Florida?

In Florida, child support generally lasts until the child turns 18 years old or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. However, if the child is still in high school when he or she turns 18 years old, child support will continue until the child graduates from high school or turns 19 years old, whichever occurs first.

Child support may also be required after the child turns 18 years old if the child is dependent on his or her parents due to a mental or physical incapacity. In such cases, child support may be required indefinitely. 

On the other hand, child support may be terminated before the child turns 18 or graduates high school, if he or she becomes emancipated, gets married, or joins the military.

Why Choose Our St. Augustine Child Support Lawyers?

At Owenby Law, P.A., we are committed to helping parents with all of their child support needs. Whether you need help establishing a child support order, modifying a child support order, or enforcing a child support order, we can help. Our St. Augustine child support attorneys have extensive experience handling a wide range of child support cases and have a proven track record of success.

When you choose our firm, you can be confident that you are getting the highest level of legal representation available. We are dedicated to providing our clients with the personalized and attentive legal counsel that they deserve. We will take the time to understand your unique situation and develop a legal strategy that is tailored to your needs. Our team will guide you through every stage of the legal process and will be available to answer any questions that you may have.

Contact us today at (904) 674-8779 to discuss your child support case with our team.

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The Benefits of Hiring Owenby Law, P.A.

Owenby Law, P.A. is here to help you get the results you need with a team you can trust.

  • Free Initial Consultations
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