Calculating Child Support
Public policy of the state provides that each parent has a fundamental obligation to support his or her minor or legally dependent child. As such, the state has created child support guidelines, basically, a table listing net income amounts, number of children and a number calculated by the state as a minimum child support amount based on these two factors. In calculating gross income, numerous types of payments are included in a calculation, including, but not limited to, disability benefits, unemployment compensation, social security benefits and more. If someone isn’t working, the court can still assign an income amount to him or her. Once gross income is established, numerous deductions from this amount are allowed. Thereafter, childcare costs and health insurance are considered and after several calculations, a presumptive child support amount will result. A judge can order payment of an amount of child support that is different than the calculated amount for a variety of reasons. If you have questions about child support, an experienced Jacksonville child support attorney at our office can help.
Collection of Child Support
If you are owed child support, you may have the option of either asking the court to help enforce the child support order or asking the court to find the non-paying parent in contempt. If you are a party that owes back child support, you may end up facing garnishment of your wages, interest calculations, liens, loss of licenses and/or imprisonment. If you need legal advice regarding the collection of child support, contact a Jacksonville child support lawyer at Cameron Baker Law Office.
Modification of Child Support
Because income amounts and the needs of children change over time, child support orders can be modified. They should be modified by the court and not between the parties as the person required to pay child support could still be found in contempt of the original court order if he or she is paying a lower amount than required. To request a modification, a party needs to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that was not foreseeable at the time the original child support order was entered. This standard can be met in many ways and some of the most common ways the standard is met are: if a parent loses a job, if a child has unexpected needs, if a parent’s health changes and if the time sharing (visitation) arrangement has changed. Whether you are looking to increase or decrease an existing child support order, a Jacksonville family attorney at our office can provide you with the information and services that you need.
We offer a free, initial half hour consultation either by phone or at the office and will discuss with you your options for proceeding, services and costs. To speak with a Jacksonville divorce attorney or family law lawyer, contact us today at (904) 406-8636.