Child Support Attorneys
in Tallahassee, Florida

According to a 2017 Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support report produced by the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately half (49.4 percent) of all custodial parents had either legal or informal child support agreements in place. During a divorce or legal separation, child support arrangements are typically established by the spouses to ensure that their children are adequately cared for. Even though most parents are keen to contribute a reasonable amount of financial support, many parents are equally concerned about the crippling effect that exorbitant child support payments can have on their finances. 

If you or someone you know is trying to establish a child support arrangement or modify an existing child support arrangement, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Florida family law attorney. At Fournier Law, our attorneys are committed to providing experienced legal counsel and compassionate representation for individuals and families dealing with child support cases. Whether you need to establish a support arrangement or modify an existing child support arrangement, our attorneys will offer you the knowledgeable guidance and advocacy you need. Our team will fight passionately to protect the rights of both you and your child as we seek an amicable conclusion for everyone involved.

Fournier Law is also proud to serve clients across Tallahassee, North Florida, Big Bend, and the surrounding counties.

Understanding Child
Support Laws in Florida

Child support payments are meant to support the general well-being of the child and cater to their needs, including food, education, clothing, shelter, and other necessities. In Florida, both parents, whether married or not, are obligated to support their children financially. 

How to Determine the Amount

Florida’s Child Support Guidelines are used to calculate child support payments (Florida Statutes, Title VI, Chapter 61.30). The steps that these guidelines outline are as follows:

  • Determine Gross Income - In a contested divorce (where child support is an issue), both parents will need to file and exchange financial affidavits verifying individual income and expenses. Gross income consists of any earned and unearned income, including wages, self-employment income, bonuses, commissions, alimony, dividend or interest income, rent, workers' compensation benefits, retirement benefits, and pensions. All of these factors will be used to determine both parents' gross income levels.
  • Calculate Imputed Income - Florida courts may impute the income of a parent who is underemployed or voluntarily unemployed. 
  • Determine the Net Income - Upon calculating both parents' gross income (or imputed gross income), statutorily approved deductions will result in a net income for each parent. Allowable deductions include health insurance premiums, federal, state, and local income tax deductions, Medicare payments, compulsory retirement payments, alimony payments, and court-ordered child support payments for children from previous relationships.
  • Calculating Child Support Payments - The child support payments will be based on the number of children and the combined net incomes of the parents (gross income minus allowable deductions) and child support will then be determined using the Child Support Guidelines.

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How To Modify an
Existing Arrangement

A parent requesting a child support modification must show that there has been a "substantial unanticipated change in circumstances" since the last order was entered. Additionally, the parent requesting the modification will need to show that this adjustment will be in the best interest of the child. Some reasons to seek child support modifications include:

  • One parent securing a much higher paying job
  • An unexpected, involuntary decrease in one of the parent's income
  • Income tax considerations
  • An increase in the special needs or additional expenses of the child
  • Changes in parenting time

According to Florida Statutes, Title VI, Chapter 61.13, all child support awards entered terminate upon the child's 18th birthday unless the child is in his/her senior year of school with the expectation of graduation before the child's 19th birthday, when the child otherwise emancipates before his/her 18th birthday, or the court's have determined the child is "dependent" and awarded child support beyond 18 years of age due to a physical or mental incapacity.

How Experienced
Legal Counsel Can Help

Child support arrangements in Florida often involve a lot of legal complexities. If you are a parent trying to establish a child support arrangement or believe that your circumstances have changed and are seeking a modification, it is critical that you reach out to a knowledgeable Florida family law attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights as a parent are protected.

With more than 60 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys at Fournier Law are dedicated to offering outstanding legal counsel and representation on matters related to divorce and child support. Our legal team will review the unique details of your situation, fight to protect your parental rights, and help you decide the best course of action to ensure your children are taken care of. We will provide you with detailed guidance and support at every step and work hard to help you seek the best possible outcome for your case. Don’t face these challenges on your own. Put our knowledge and experience on your side today!

Reliable Child Support Attorneys Serving Tallahassee, Florida

If you are trying to establish or modify a child support arrangement, contact Fournier Law today to schedule a one-on-one consultation. Our experienced Florida family law attorneys will offer you the experienced legal counsel and advocacy you need to navigate key decisions in your child support proceedings. Our firm is proud to serve clients throughout Tallahassee, North Florida, the Big Bend region, and across the entire state of Florida. Get in touch today!