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In Florida, child support is not necessarily the right of either the paying or receiving parent, but is instead the right of the child in the action. While one parent will likely be paying the other parent, the money is supposed to be used for the purpose of housing, clothing, education, medical and the overall care for the child. Child support can start through the Florida Department of Revenue or can be a part of paternity or divorce litigation.
Child support has changed from the Judge's discretion as to the need of the child to a strict formula. This formula includes some of the following factors:
While these are the primary factors in determining the amount of child support, other factors can be taken into consideration.
Retroactive Child Support:
It is also important to recognize that retroactive child support may be awarded to the receiving party. Retroactive child support arises when one parent is due child support before or during a case that is not paid. Retroactive child support awards are typically paid in addition to ongoing child support obligations in as much as an 20% of the ongoing child support obligation.
If money is paid by the parent who will be required to pay support, it is important that the exchange of money include specific language indicating that the money is for the purpose of child support. If the paying parent does not indicate such, then it is possible the Court will determine that the money being given is a gift and not for the purpose of child support; as a result, the paying parent will still be liable for retroactive support, even if the money has been paid.
Contact our office today for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your child support rights and potential obligation.
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