In any case that involves children, child support is one of the many important decisions the court makes. Child support is a payment from one parent to the other that is to contribute to the children’s day-to-day living expenses until each child reaches the age of 18 or 19 if the child is still in high school and on course to graduate, but not later than 19 years of age. In the event your child has special needs, child support may extend beyond the age of 19. Florida has established child support guidelines to determine the amount of child support one parent may be required to pay to the other parent. Child support is based upon the respective incomes of the parties as well as the number of overnights each parent enjoys with the children. Parents are free to agree to a child support amount in excess of the guidelines but not to an amount that is less than the guidelines. In addition to determining the amount of child support, the guidelines also establish each parent’s percentage share of other expenses not included in child support such as health insurance, out of pocket medical expenses, extracurricular expenses and daycare incurred for a parent to work or attend school.
It is crucial when determining child support that each parent’s income is properly calculated and that certain additional factors, such as the tax dependency exemption, are considered. Selecting a child support attorney in Broward County Florida, therefore, is an important decision in your case. The right child support attorney in Broward County Florida will make sure that your rights are protected and that any child support amount ordered is fair and reasonable.
As you interview attorneys, ask each one how long they have handled child support issues and whether they utilize updated financial software designed to ensure that child support is calculated correctly. The longer the attorney has represented clients in child support cases, does not necessarily mean that the better that attorney’s representation will be, due to the exposure the attorney will have had to a number of different legal issues. Most attorneys will be glad to provide a resume that showcases their qualifications as well.
Child support laws continue to evolve. Make sure that your attorney has updated knowledge of the law and regularly attends continuing legal education seminars on the topic, subscribes to services that deliver changes to child support laws to your attorney regularly, and has been recognized for her skills in this area.