Protecting the child’s best interest always comes first in Florida courts. And while this is a good thing, the system unfortunately still has some limitations. All too often, parents are assigned child support demands that they simply cannot meet. Being unable to make your child support payments is overwhelming, and can impact your whole life and well-being. But there are solutions available to you.
How Does Child Custody Work in Florida?
If you’re confused about the different types of child custody and how they work, you’re not alone. Here, we’ll explain some of the basic terms and concepts you need to know when you’re trying to create a good parenting plan, focusing on what it means to share custody of your kids.
To start, let’s look at the two basic legal elements of child custody: physical custody and legal custody.
Physical custody is all about where your children live. You and your children’s other parent may share physical custody or just one of you may get physical custody. The legal term for sharing is joint physical custody. If the kids live with just one parent, that’s called sole physical custody.
Legal custody covers pretty much everything that physical custody does not, including decisions about the children’s religious training, choice of schools and tutors, extracurricular activities, medical treatment, mental health care, and more.
Changes in Florida’s Child Support Law
There is a new law in our state which made notable changes to our child support system. Now, child support orders must give the date the support will self-terminate. With the old law parents had to revisit the court as each of their children became an adult and with this came renewed arguments over other divorce matters. Parents no longer have to return to court when their child becomes an adult.
The other significant change in our child support laws has to do with how the calculations are done that result in the child support payments each parent has to make. We feel it is our job as child support lawyers to keep abreast of the latest changes to our child support laws so that we can use this information to the best advantage of our clients. In the past, some parents would try to avoid making some or all of their court-ordered child support payments.
There are many reasons why it is no longer plausible to avoid child support payments, including:
Increased child support enforcement actions
Involvement of the Federal Government
Coordination of child support efforts between states
What Solutions are Available to You?
It’s important to remember that you do have the right to request a modification in child support demands due to changed circumstances. Keep in mind that it is far better to request a child support modification due to changed circumstances than to fail to pay child support. It’s also better to pay as much of your child support as you can instead of not paying any.
Mellany Marquez-Kelly is a child support lawyer dedicated to what’s best for you and your child. If you’re a parent who needs to pay child support modification in Fort Myers and Cape Coral, Florida, we’re here to help you fight what might seem like an impossible battle. We would like to let you know that you are not alone in this battle and a child support modification lawyer in Fort Myers and Cape Coral is willing to help you! Call us at 239-214-0403 or message us for a Free Half-Hour Consultation!