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Boynton Beach Family & Divorce Attorney / Boynton Beach Child Support Lawyer

Boynton Beach Child Support Lawyer

When parents – married or not – are raising their children together, both parents have an obligation to support their kids financially. This obligation continues if the parents split up or divorce, or if they never lived together to begin with. For the sake of the children, it’s important to get enforceable court orders that officially determine each parent’s share of their financial duty. Depending on the circumstances, either parent could be ordered to pay child support to the other, which the court decides based on Florida law.

The Law Office of Taryn G. Sinatra, P.A., can provide you with top-quality, affordable assistance through the often tumultuous experience of determining who should pay child support and how much. As a parent, you want to know that your children are fully supported and that you are treated fairly in the process. Our Board-Certified family law specialist provides expert advice and representation to guide you through the child support process, whether helping you and your child’s other parent come to an understanding of what amount of support is appropriate, or putting our decade-plus of litigation experience to work fighting for your rights and best interests in court. Contact our experienced and dedicated Boynton Beach child support lawyers today to discuss your concerns and chart a path toward a successful resolution of your divorce or child custody case.

How Child Support Is Calculated in Florida, and How Our Boynton Beach Child Support Lawyers Can Help

Child support in Florida is calculated according to a very specific formula set out in the law, but there is plenty of room for error or deceit, so the assistance of a skilled divorce attorney can prove invaluable. Our Board-certified family law specialist and legal team can guide you through the process to ensure you complete all required worksheets completely and accurately and that your children’s other parent is doing the same.

Many factors go into calculating the formula laid out in the Florida Child Support Guidelines, the two most important being each parent’s income and the amount of overnight timesharing each parent enjoys. When it comes to reporting income, the statute lays out a partial list of what must be considered, which includes:

  • Salary or wages
  • Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments
  • Business income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations, and independent contracts. “Business income” means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income.
  • Disability benefits
  • All workers’ compensation benefits and settlements
  • Reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation
  • Pension, retirement, or annuity payments
  • Social security benefits
  • Spousal support received from a previous marriage or court ordered in the marriage before the court
  • Interest and dividends
  • Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce the income
  • Income from royalties, trusts, or estates
  • Reimbursed expenses or in-kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses
  • Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is nonrecurring

The court can also impute an income level to a parent who seems to be voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, perhaps for the purpose of avoiding child support. Our child support experts can help you through the laborious process of tracking down all sources of income to ensure both parents are reporting their incomes fully and accurately, which is essential to a fair calculation of child support for the kids.

Other factors that go into the formula include health insurance premiums and who is paying them, child care expenses, and other expenses related to the children. Parents receiving child support can also seek additional support for a variety of child-related expenses, such as medical bills not covered by insurance, schooling, camps and extra-curricular activities, and more.

Deviation From the Guidelines in Appropriate Circumstances

The amount determined by the child support formula is not always the last word on the subject. Judges have the discretion to deviate up or down from the guidelines amount if persuaded doing so is in the best interests of the child. Our team of child support specialists understands the factors that go into a formula deviation and can help you make the best case for or against deviating in your child support case. These factors include:

  • Extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses.
  • Independent income of the child, not to include moneys received by a child from supplemental security income.
  • The payment of support for a parent which has been regularly paid and for which there is a demonstrated need.
  • Seasonal variations in one or both parents’ incomes or expenses.
  • The age of the child, taking into account the greater needs of older children.
  • Special needs, such as costs that may be associated with the disability of a child, that have traditionally been met within the family budget even though fulfilling those needs will cause the support to exceed the presumptive amount established by the guidelines.
  • Total available assets of the obligee, obligor, and the child.
  • The impact of the Internal Revenue Service Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and dependency exemption and waiver of that exemption. The court may order a parent to execute a waiver of the Internal Revenue Service dependency exemption if the paying parent is current in support payments.
  • An application of the child support guidelines schedule that requires a person to pay another person more than 55 percent of his or her gross income for a child support obligation for current support resulting from a single support order.
  • The particular parenting plan, a court-ordered time-sharing schedule, or a time-sharing arrangement exercised by agreement of the parties, such as where the child spends a significant amount of time, but less than 20 percent of the overnights, with one parent, thereby reducing the financial expenditures incurred by the other parent; or the refusal of a parent to become involved in the activities of the child.
  • Any other adjustment that is needed to achieve an equitable result which may include, but not be limited to, a reasonable and necessary existing expense or debt. Such expense or debt may include, but is not limited to, a reasonable and necessary expense or debt that the parties jointly incurred during the marriage.

Contact the Law Office of Taryn G. Sinatra, P.A., Today

Generally speaking, child support is mandated until a child turns 18 or until they graduate from high school, whichever is longer. If the child has a disability that impacts their independence, child support can be ordered for a longer term or permanently. Make sure your children are getting the support they need and that you are being treated fairly in the process, whether you are the parent who will be paying or receiving support on behalf of the kids. Call our compassionate and dedicated Boynton Beach child support lawyers today.

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