Trusted, Knowledgeable Legal Guidance In Florida Child Support Matters

When two people have children together, Florida law makes clear that they are equally responsible for the costs of providing for those children – regardless of their relationship to one another. Unfortunately, child support can be a contentious issue following a divorce or custody dispute.

If you need legal assistance with a child support concern in northern Florida, the firm to contact for help is the Law Offices of J. Anthony Franco, PLLC. Mr. Franco’s Tampa-based practice is exclusively focused on family law and marital law, and he provides personalized service and knowledgeable representation to each client. Whether you will be receiving child support or expect to be asked to pay it, attorney Franco will work to secure a support order that meets the needs of the children while being fair and sustainable for both parents.

Calculating Child Support In Florida

In Florida, the parent with the larger share of child custody (based on overnight stays) is considered the custodial parent and will typically be receiving child support payments from the other (the non-custodial) parent. If the custody arrangement is equal and both parents have substantially similar incomes, no support may be ordered. However, this is the exception and not the rule.

Each parent’s net income is a major consideration in calculating child support. This is because Florida relies on the “income shares” model to determine how much support is needed and what each parent’s share will be. The court begins by estimating how much the parents would have spent on the children had they been living together in the same household. The estimated amount is then divided between the two parents based on each of their incomes as well as their allotment of custody.

How Is Parental Income Determined?

For purposes of child support, parental “income” is not limited to employment income of wages, salary, tips, bonuses and commissions. It also includes income from numerous other sources, such as benefit payments (unemployment, disability, Social Security, pensions, annuities), income from rental properties, alimony, business income and payments from trust funds.

Income is also adjusted based on allowable deductions for expenses like state and federal income taxes, health insurance and day care costs for minor children, and the costs of paying child support for any children from a previous marriage or relationship.

If the parent who owes child support is deliberately unemployed or underemployed, courts may consider their “imputed income” (income earning potential) when calculating support obligations.

Why It’s Important To Work With An Experienced Attorney

Child support is largely based on a formula. The court can deviate from this formula if there are compelling reasons to do so. Therefore, it is important that the information is correct and that it is placed in the appropriate context.

As your attorney, Mr. Franco will work to ensure that the court receives accurate and complete information about the financial means of both parents, the needs of the children and any circumstances that would warrant a deviation. His goal is to ensure that your children have the resources they need and that your rights and financial interests are protected. He can also help you seek a modification to a child support order as financial circumstances and needs change over time.

Discuss Your Needs During An Initial Consultation

Based in Tampa, the Law Offices of J. Anthony Franco, PLLC, serves clients throughout northern Florida. Contact the firm today to experience the benefits of customized, caring legal representation. To schedule an initial consultation, just call 813-608-4024 or submit an online contact form.