Every child has the right to the support of both parents until the age of 18. In Florida, child support is determined by Child Support Guidelines. This is the formula judges use to figure out the support needed for a child and how much each parent has to pay. The court looks at both parent’s incomes (or what they have the ability to earn) and the child’s health and child care costs as well as the number of overnights spent with each parent. Parents cannot agree to waive child support or for a specific amount of child support without approval from the court.
During the process of determining child support, The Law Office of Andrew Storie focuses on 3 key points:
1. What is a reasonable amount of money to keep the child supported in the lifestyle they were previously living in?
2. What can the parent reasonably afford to pay towards child support without incurring hardship?
3. Is the amount being proposed going to be sufficient in the long term to avoid having to return to court at a later date?
By asking these 3 questions during child support negotiations, we are generally able to avoid costly returns to court at a later date, resulting in less acrimonious divorces and separations. Effective negotiations during child support determination can make the difference between a positive or negative relationship between a separated couple and that relationship’s impact on the children involved.
Spousal Support, also known as Alimony, is a payment to provide financial assistance or support to a former spouse.
It can be paid either by lump sum or on a continuing basis. Before alimony is considered, the court first must determine whether either spouse has a real need for alimony and whether either spouse can afford to pay alimony. If the court finds one spouse has a need for alimony and that the other spouse has the ability to pay, then the court considers the Florida Statutes section 61.08(2) to determine amounts, frequency of payments, or even if alimony is appropriate.