Child Support Calculations… Are You Overpaying?
In Florida, child support is a mandatory requirement for all parents whether they are married to each other or not. Both parents are responsible for part of their minor children’s support and sometimes this support will be given to a third party legal guardian such as a grandparent. Additionally, child support cannot be made part of a pre or post marital agreement. There are a number of considerations taken into account when figuring child support, among them are incomes of each parent, number of minor children shared by the couple, number of overnights each parent will have, special needs or on-going serious illness of minor children and/or parent, and children past l8 years who will be considered dependents while in college. Life and Health insurance are also made a part of the child support order.
The actual amount of child support will be based on the results of completing the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, which will be filed with the Supreme Court Approved Family Court Law Form 12.943. This information and any other applicable considerations will be entered into a special computer program, which will figure and determine the final amount.
But what happens post judgment when circumstances of life change materially, substantially, and unanticipated, that is change not realized to be forthcoming following the final judgment? Could you be paying more child support than necessary? Can child support be modified? Yes, in the state of Florida, given the right, proven reasons, child support can be modified post judgment. Essentially, the same considerations apply when figuring out if you are overpaying as were used to figure out the original amount. Some of these are:
- Has your income changed substantially since the final order to make it a hardship to pay the required amount? This could be from a job loss, which was no fault of yours and/or the unavailability of adequate employment over a long period of time.
- You have changed jobs and there is no health and/or life insurance available to you as there was in your previous job.
- The other party now has life insurance and/or health insurance as part of their job benefits.
- The other party’s income has increased to surpass yours.
- You now have more overnights with your minor child (children) than stated in the final order.
- Serious and ongoing health issues such as stage 4 cancer have developed for you.
- Dependent children are no longer in college or have graduated.
- Health issues of the other party have improved.
- The other party has moved to a situation requiring less monies to maintain in the best interest of the minor child (children)
- Minor child (children) no longer attend special schools or need extra help with funding activities such as athletics, lessons, or training. Day care requirements have lessened or are no longer needed.
Of course, each case has its own special determinations as to whether the amount of child support needs to be readjusted in your favor. And, material, substantial, and unanticipated change must be proven without a doubt for post judgment modification to occur. So it is wise to use an attorney to help you make sure you are first, eligible, and second, to help you determine the appropriate readjusted amount to ask for. Further, an attorney knowledgeable in Family Law can take your case through litigation to make sure you receive the best solution possible. If you live in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, or Hillsborough County in Florida, Attorney Grant Gisondo, Family Law attorney practicing in Palm Beach Gardens is experienced in post judgment child support modification. He offers a free, initial, in-office consultation where he will meet with you personally to answer questions and share how he can help. Potential new clients can meet with Attorney Gisondo on Saturday between 8:30 am and 1:00 pm as well as weekdays. Call his office at (561-530-4568) for an appointment.