Common Misconceptions About Child Support
Child support is an issue that always has the potential to become complex in Florida and there are many misconceptions surrounding it. Below, our Orlando family lawyer outlines the most common myths surrounding this term of divorce and explains the child support system in Florida.
Child Support Always Stops when the Child Turns 18
In Florida, parents are expected to financially support their children until they are no longer a minor. In many cases, this means until the child turns 18 years old. However, there are some cases when child support is extended past that time. One instance when child support may extend past a child’s 18th birthday is when the child is still in high school and is expected to graduate before they turn 19 years old. Children with disabilities or special needs that prevent them from becoming self-supporting adults may also receive child support beyond the age of 18.
Support is Unnecessary when Both Parents Share Parental Responsibility Equally
There are many factors the Court must consider when making a determination ofwho will pay child support, and the amount of that support. The income of each party, the parent that pays for childcare, and the need for healthcare insurance and ability of each parent to pay for this coverage are just a few of these. A Judge can use or deviate from these factors when ordering a parent to pay support, even if both parents share equal parenting responsibility.
Parents Do Not have to Pay Child Support if They are Unemployed
The income of each parent is one of the main factors that determines whether a person will pay child support and how much they will pay. However, being unemployed does not exonerate a parent from being responsible for financially supporting their child. Even an unemployed parent may have to pay child support as the Court can impute income to that parent
Remarriage Affects Child Support
Remarriage can affect certain court orders that stemmed from a divorce, such as alimony. The same is not true though, for child support. Children are still entitled to financial support even when they are part of a blended family, so one spouse remarrying will not have any effect on child support.
Child Support Should Only be Spent on the Children
It is not uncommon for a person paying child support to become suspicious about what their former spouse is using it for. If they learn that the payments are being spent on things other than the child’s clothes, activities, and other items exclusively for the benefit of the child, they become angry and sometimes, even argue that it is illegal. Child support, however, can benefit the child either directly or indirectly. For example, using child support to purchase groceries is perfectly fine if the child is going to consume only a portion of that food.
Our Family Lawyer in Orlando Can Help with Your Child Support Issues
If you are going through a divorce, or have child support issues post-divorce, our Orlando family lawyer at O’Mara Law Group can help. Our skilled attorney can help you petition the court to modify or enforce an order, and will give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us today at 407-634-6604 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.