Effect of Custody & Child Support
After a split or separation, parties are often required to face a new normal, which involves living in separate places and getting accustomed to sharing custody ("time-sharing") with the other parent. Typically, unless the parents reach an agreement related to time-sharing, the court will decide how the time will be divided between the parents after considering what is in the child's bests interests. Time-sharing determination has a variety of consequences that parents may not be aware of when an order is issued. Child support is one area that may be impacted by the number of overnights shared between the parents.
Entitlement to Support
Both parents must support children born as a result of an intimate relationship. Typically, child support will continue until the child reaches age 18 or age 19 if still in high school and on pace to graduate. However, in limited circumstances, a support obligation may extend past the age of 18. These circumstances may include continued support due to an agreement by the parties or particular conditions, such as disabilities, that require constant support.
It is essential to understand that child support is not negotiable. It is a formula that considers overnights, the income of both parents, and certain deductions. Either mom or dad will pay. It is not always dad paying mom.
Modification of Support
Either party can petition a court for modification of a child support order. The judge will look at the facts and circumstances of the case to determine whether a modification claim has merit. For a court to modify a support agreement, the judge must find that a modification is in the child's best interests. There is a substantial change in circumstances, or the child is no longer eligible to receive support. If the judge finds that the modification is warranted and unanticipated, the court may modify the monthly obligation in an upward or downward fashion and change the terms of payment.
Termination of Support
Support will end when a child reaches the age of majority. However, Florida law also permits a support obligation to terminate in the following circumstances:
- The child is emancipated
- The child joins the armed services
- The child at issue enters into a valid marriage
- The child has passed away
When a child support obligation terminates, the court is required to indicate the month, date, and year the termination takes effect. However, the termination of a support order does not affect prior support obligations. Termination proceedings have a significant impact on the livelihood of you and your loved ones.
If you have questions about child support, we invite you to contact us to schedule a consultation with an experienced Jacksonville family lawyer. At Florida Divorce Law Group, we practice family law throughout Florida, and we have consultation offices in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and Miami. We also have Zoom video meetings available, and of course, phone consultations.