Orlando Child
Support Lawyer

When people come to us for criminal defense, it is usually during the worst time in their lives; they are worried, confused and stressed.
The payment and receipt of child support is a reality for millions of parents in Florida and throughout the United States. The Florida Department of Revenue provides child support services to nearly a million children and collects over a billion dollars in child support every year. The Orlando family law attorneys at the O’Mara Law Group help families navigate child support cases.

How is child support calculated?

Florida family courts consider the following when determining child support payments:

Florida § 61.30 provides the court with guidelines. However, the court can deviate from these guidelines after considering such relevant factors as the following concerning the children:

Can Florida parents refer to a child support calculator?

The formula to calculate child support is complex and cannot be reduced to a simple calculator. To calculate child support, the court must complete the following steps:

Can you negotiate child support in Florida?

Child support cannot be negotiated, but the court can consider individual factors:

The child support lawyers at O’Mara Law Group can ensure all relevant facts related to your children and finances are properly considered.

How is net income determined?

The net income is determined by totaling all the parent’s sources of income and deducting reasonable expenses.

The income sources include but are not limited to:

Deductions include but are not limited to:

What if the noncustodial parent is unemployed?

The court will impute earned income based on the estimated earning potential if the noncustodial parent’s unemployment (or underemployment) is voluntary.

This can be based on the following, depending on the available information:

If unemployment is involuntary, earned income will not be imputed. However, any unearned income other than welfare benefits will be used to calculate the parent’s share of the child support obligation. Unemployment due to incarceration or the need for the parent to stay home with the child is considered involuntary.

How much does a child support lawyer cost in Florida?

The cost of a child support lawyer in Orlando is highly variable. The O’Mara Law Group determines fees based on the amount of work required for each case. Cases that require litigation will generally cost more than cases involving parental agreement. We disclose our fees upfront and will always inform you of developments in your case.

Is child support taxable?

Paying or receiving child support has no tax consequences. According to the IRS, child support payments are neither taxable to the recipient nor deductible by the payer. It should not be reported when filing state or federal income taxes.

How to File for Child Support in Florida

Child support is an automatic component of divorce proceedings with children. In cases involving unmarried parents, paternity must be established. This can be done through the Florida Child Support Program free of charge without the need for a court hearing. If the paternity test is positive, the Department of Revenue will move to obtain child support.

How long will I have to pay child support in Florida?

Florida state law requires parents to support their children until their eighteenth birthday. The court may order child support to continue until graduation from high school up until the age of 19 or longer in cases of disability.

What if unforeseen circumstances prevent me from meeting my child support obligation?

If the circumstances are temporary, you can contact the Florida Department of Revenue to establish a payment plan before your payment is late. This will prevent enforcement activities against you. If your circumstances have changed permanently, you can petition the court for a modification. You must continue to pay your current obligation until the new order is established.

Child Support Modification

When circumstances change, a modification may be appropriate. We can petition the court on your behalf and present a strong case to support your modification.

Reasons to Modify Child Support

The following circumstances provide grounds to increase or decrease child support:

Is child support paid if parents have 50/50 parenting time?

While parenting time is included in child support calculations, it represents only a small portion of the formula. Child support obligations are calculated separately according to each parent’s combined income. The parent with the greater obligation will pay the difference to the other parent.

Delinquent Child Support

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2018, only 43.5 percent of custodial parents receive the full amount of child support ordered. The state of Florida provides enforcement activities on behalf of parents not receiving their court-ordered child support in full.

Remedies

The Florida Department of Revenue takes the following enforcement actions against those who are delinquent on child support payments:

Can visitation be withheld if child support is past due?

Nonpayment of child support is never a justification for withholding parenting time. Failure to allow the noncustodial parent access to parenting time constitutes a violation of a court order.

The court could impose sanctions such as:

Back Pay Child Support

The Department of Revenue mails a notice of delinquency to the obligor on the date payment becomes 15 days past due and allows an additional 15 days to pay the balance before a judgment/certificate of delinquency is filed. Once this is filed, interest will accrue, and the judgment may appear on the obligor’s credit report.

To repay the past-due balance, the obligor must submit a payoff request form and a $25 fee. A satisfaction of judgment will be issued upon payment of the past-due balance and fees. 

Do I need a child support lawyer to file a claim?

Both parents are obligated to support their children according to their ability. Without the assistance of an experienced family law lawyer, you could end up providing more than your fair share of support. The Orlando child support lawyers at the O’Mara Law Group are experienced in even the most complex financial situations.

Whether you are on the paying or receiving end, the right attorney can strongly impact your financial well-being for many years. As board-certified in marital and family law, Mark O’Mara is a leading family law attorney in Florida, and he has handpicked a team of attorneys that will not miss a single detail. 

You have nothing to lose by meeting with our attorneys to discuss your case. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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221 NE Ivanhoe Blvd. Suite 200 Orlando, FL 32804

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