Courts order parents to pay child support for the benefit of their kids when the children's parents do not live together or function as a couple. For example, when a Florida child's parents are married then presumably the parents share in the expenses and responsibilities of taking care of that youth. However, when a child's parents live in separate homes and do not share financial accounts or assets, then it can be more difficult to ensure that each is contributing to the welfare of the child.
The state of Florida sets forth a complex set of guidelines that formulaically dictate how much support a noncustodial parent should pay for the benefit of their children. The guidelines consider the parents' income, the number of children that the parents must provide for, and other important information that can be altered for the family's unique financial situation. Guideline determinations for child support can be changed, though, when circumstances warrant it and when modification supports the best interests of the kids.
Contrary to what some readers may believe, child support payments in Florida may be applied to a vast range of child-related expenses. While a child's basic needs must be covered by the financial support provided to them by their parents, child support may also be used to provide a child with educational, enrichment, and entertainment-based opportunities.
A child support order creates a binding obligation in a parent to provide their child or children with financial support pursuant to the terms of the document. When a Florida parent does not meet this important obligation, then there are several different enforcement remedies that state authorities may employ to compel them into action. This post will discuss several of those enforcement mechanisms, but readers are cautioned that the information provided herein is not offered as guidance nor is it comprehensive.
When a parent is ordered to pay child support for the financial benefit of their child, the obligation is a binding legal mandate. A Florida parent who fails to abide by the terms of their operating child support order may be penalized in a number of ways, including, but not limited to, seeing their driver's license suspended or their pay checks garnished.
Child support can be a complex issue but understanding how it is determined in Florida can help. A major league baseball player has been sued in Florida court for child support and to establish paternity of two children a woman living in Florida asserts he fathered. Miguel Cabrera has been sued by the mother of the two children for allegedly failing to provide sufficient child support for the two children he fathered with her. Though Cabrera has been married to his wife for 15 years, and has three children with her, the Florida woman alleges in her suit he fathered children with her in 2013 and 2015.
This blog recently discussed the serious consequences associated with failing to pay child support. In addition to the responsibility to pay child support, parents are also responsible for their children's medical expenses. The potential penalties for failure to pay medical expenses are the same as those for failure to pay child support and can include wage garnishment, tax intercepts, suspension of a business or occupational license, contempt of court or even possible time in jail.
The consequences for failure to pay child support in Florida can be harsh. A former NFL running back was recently jailed in Florida for failure to pay child support. The former New England Patriots running back turned himself in and was released from jail 17 hours later after he paid a "cash purge" of $7,924. The court will hold an individual for failure to pay child support on a "cash purge" until a determined amount is paid in lieu of bond. Although the amount of child support due is unknown, after paying the $7,924 the former running back was released.
Child support orders outline the obligations parents have for their children. The family law court helps parents set up a child support order and also provides options to help families modify their child support order or enforce a child support order when needed. Florida law sets child support guidelines which child support amounts and orders are based on.
Did you know that August is recognized as Child Support Awareness Month in the U.S.? This month, states celebrate the various resources in place to help parents pay and collect child support, as well as the parents who work to support the needs and welfare of their children.