Earlier this week, we discussed the most common questions family law clients have about Florida divorce statutes, procedures, and more. In today’s blog, as promised, we will discuss some frequently asked questions about divorce when kids are involved. Continue reading to learn some helpful information about getting a divorce in Florida when you have biological or step children.
How Much Child Support Will Be Ordered to Pay?
In Florida, the law requires both parents (or legal guardians) to provide financial support of their child. The amount of money the law mandates parents to contribute will depend on a number of factors unique to your situation, all of which are applied to the child support guidelines set forth by Florida legislature. To calculate child support payments, the uses these two primary factors to make their considerations:
Combined Income (Before Expenses) – If you make $1,000 a month, and your spouse makes $3,000 per month, the state will add your incomes together to develop a combined income of $4,000 per month.
Percentage of Income to Combined Total – The state will then consider what percentage each spouse contributes to the combined income. Using the example of $4,000 combined income, your percentage would be 25%, while your spouse contributes 75%.
Do I Have to Pay Child Support for a Step Child?
Here in Florida, stepparents are not legally required to contribute to the financial support of a stepchild after the dissolution of marriage. This also applies to marriages in which a spouse is paying an ex-spouse child support. Because they are married and have joint finances, they are both technically paying child support to the ex-spouse. But the law will not force a stepparent to do so, nor garnish their wages, unless an adoption occurred. Child support is solely the responsibility of the custodial parents. One exception to this rule involves a legal act called In Loco Parentis, which means a person has legally taken on some parental responsibilities to a stepchild, without actually adopting them.
Can I Change Child Support Orders?
In order to contest or change your current child support obligations, you will need to show the courts that an unanticipated and long-lasting change has occurred to your income or financial needs. Such changes may include job losses or promotions, medical expenses, and similar significant events. Typically, a court will not consider the request unless the change calls for at least 15% modification of monthly child support payments, whether an increase or decrease.
Can I Request Temporary Child Support?
Not only can you go to the courts and petition for temporary child support, you can also petition for alimony, custody, visitation rights, and more. Talk to your family lawyer for information on how to get started.
How Do I Change My Child Custody Agreement?
If you are not happy with the child custody agreement prior to or during your divorce, you can petition for a child custody modification. In order to be granted a modification, you will need to show the court that there is a legitimate reason for the change, such as a significant change in circumstances, whether for you or your spouse. Your Orlando family law attorney will help you facilitate all of these needs.
Can My Ex Move to Another State with Our Child?
If you are a non-custodial parent, and your ex-spouse wishes to move to another state, you are protected under Florida law to a certain extent. You have the right to petition for a child custody modification, as mentioned before, but there is no guarantee that the court will grant your request.
Can I Get Custody of My Step Child?
In the state of Florida, you can only get custody of a stepchild after a divorce if an adoption takes place. Otherwise, a stepparent post-divorce has no legal right to a stepchild. Furthermore, Florida does not recognize any visitation rights of stepparents. So after you divorce, you may not be able to get a court to grant you visitation rights to a stepchild.
A Florida Divorce Law Firm That Can Help
Call the Law Office of Shane T. Herbert at 407-236-4852 for help with your child support and child custody matters in Florida. You can trust our seasoned legal team to meet your family law needs, as our case results speak for themselves. Office visits are not required for initial consultations, as we are happy to provide them over the phone or even video conference, if needed. Contact our Orlando Family Law office at 407-236-4852 to learn what you need to know about resolving or addressing your family legal matters, swiftly and securely.