Determination – Modification – Enforcement
At Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa, our role is to make sure your children are provided for and that you are treated fairly in the child support process. Based in Coral Gables, Florida, we represent any parent involved in child support disputes. We invite you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment for a consultation.
Initial Determination of Child Support
Child support is a regular payment from one parent to the other after a divorce or separation, or between unmarried persons who have a child in common. It provides for the daily expenses of raising a child, and may include child care, educational expenses, health insurance, medical and medically related expenses that are not covered by insurance, private school costs, tutoring, extra-curricular activity expenses and other child-related expenses that may be unique to a particular family or child. Child support is determined as part of a divorce settlement, or in cases involving children born out of wedlock, paternity must be established before child support can be imposed. The court awards support on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with Florida child support guidelines and considering several factors:
Incomes of the parents.
The financial resources of the parents if there is insufficient recurring income.
Needs of the children (including, for example, special medical or educational needs).
The amount of time that a child or children resides with each parent.
The traditional and customary expenditures on behalf of the child during the intact marriage.
Our attorneys can provide an initial approximation of expected payments, and explore any reasons for deviating from the state guidelines. After specific financial information is obtained from both you and the child’s other parent, we will more precisely calculate the amount of child support and related payments in your case.
Modification of Child Support
If, after child support has been established, support can be modified (either increased or decreased) if there has been a substantial change of circumstances from the date of the initial child support award to the date that the request for modification is filed. A substantial change of circumstances has been defined as one that is significant, material, involuntary and permanent. Each word of the definition has been interpreted by case law and requires analysis to determine whether modification is available in each particular case. Some substantial changes in circumstances occur when a parent experiences a raise or promotion, or a decrease in earnings or unemployment and may include the payor parent earning greater or lesser income than at the time the child support was first established; the recipient parent earning greater or lesser income than at the time the child support was first established; and the changing financial, medical, educational, psychological or other needs of the children. Our lawyers will assist you in determining whether modification of child support is appropriate in your case and help you make your case before the family court judge.
Child Support Enforcement
If the other parent is not meeting child support obligations by failing to timely pay child support or any court ordered child-related expenses, contact Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa for help in compelling the noncompliant parent to fulfill their court-ordered duties. Florida child support laws provide several remedies, including contempt of court proceedings that may include punishment for noncompliance, incarceration, sanctions, interest on outstanding funds owed, attorney’s fees and costs, wage garnishment, income withholding orders, payment by direct deposit and other remedies to collect unpaid child support.