At Dahl Family Law Group we esteem men too. Most of us are married to them or are raising sons to become great men, husbands and fathers. So do not read this title and think I am bashing men. But sometimes a man should think before going into a divorce or family law matter (especially going into Court) on whether a woman attorney might serve his needs better. Many a man will tell you they left court and felt the result was not fair because it seemed the Court saw things as two men beating up on the little woman. I have had several male clients tell me they flat out hired me because I was a woman that worked and would not automatically expect every wife to stay at home. Another said only women can figure out other women and I need someone to figure this out. One of my favorite clients complemented that his soon-to-be ex-wife’s crocodile tears did not phase me.
Together, as a family, both parents provide financially and emotionally for their children. So why is it that once separated, some parents fail to continue their financial and emotional support for their children? Regardless of emotions, both parents have a duty to continue to support their children. This is ordinarily enforced through an award of child support from one parent to the other. To obtain this award amount, the Court follows the Child Support Guideline Statute. The parties’ gross earnings, specific deductions, including child care expenses and children’s health insurance premiums, and the number of overnights are utilized in the guidelines to calculate the award amount. When it is reasonably available, required payment of health insurance premiums and the cost of uncovered medical, dental and prescriptions are also allocated. Usually, the support amount is then deducted from the paying parent’s paycheck and sent directly to the state’s central depository. The central depository keeps track of all payments made, and not made, and forwards the funds to the receiving parent. Should the paying parent fail to pay their child support obligation once it has been ordered, the receiving parent may request the Court enforce the order by contempt and willful failure to pay, possibly resulting in a person being jailed. As such, it is unlawful to deny a parent time-sharing with the children because of that parent’s failure to pay child support. It is equally unlawful to refuse to pay child support because the other parent is denying access to the children. “Two wrongs do not make a right.”
Both parents have a duty to support their children. The duty is ordinarily enforced through an award of child support from one parent to the other. To calculate child support, the court will usually follow a process in the child support guidelines statute. The process requires the court to consider the gross earnings of each party, subject to certain specified deductions, then apply those net earnings to a chart. Ordinarily, childcare expenses and child health insurance premiums are added to that charted figure. Alimony paid is considered income to the receiving spouse and is a deduction from the income of the person who pays. Each parent’s percentage of support is then calculated and a support figure is generated. When it is reasonably available, payment of health insurance premiums will be required, and the cost of uncovered medical, dental and prescription needs will be allocated.
Every child is entitled to financial support from both parents. And while child support in Florida is, in fact, based on a guideline formula, the calculation of that support is more complicated than it may seem. Let Dahl Family Law Group educate you regarding the components of the child support calculation and help you to ensure your children are receiving the financial support to which they are entitled.