As divorcing parents work through the emotional costs of their parting, so too must they work through the tangible costs of maintaining two households and the responsibilities of caring for children.
The state of Florida has clear laws on issues of timesharing (or visitation) and child support, which rightfully place the welfare of children above other issues. The attorneys of DeZayas Law Group will walk you through the process and advocate for a fair and equitable agreement with your co-parent.
While the old stereotype of mom getting custody of children and dad paying child support still lingers, the realities and configurations of divorce can be quite different and varied. Simply speaking, child support is typically a payment from the non-custodial parent to the parent with whom the children live most of the time. Support payments are designed to cover the cost of maintaining a household with children. Of course, in some cases, neither party is required to pay child support, such as in a shared parenting plan, with the children spending equal time with each parent.
Florida has specific guidelines to determine the amount of child support payments, and a worksheet must be completed and filed in all divorce cases that include custody arrangements. These guidelines account for child-rearing costs such as health insurance, medical expenses, taxes, and daycare, while rent, utilities, and food are considered essential and are not specified.
Another factor is the number of overnights (not after school or other day visits) the child or children will spend with each parent. Florida statutes allow child support amounts to be reduced if the paying parent keeps the child(ren) for more than 20% of nights (or 73) in a year. It’s assumed that parents who spend significant time with their children have higher expenses than those who see their kids less often. However, parenting for 20% of nights does not equal a 20% reduction in payments.
While the timesharing calculation is related to child support payments, Florida’s legal system attempts to encourage timesharing by maintaining a separation between the two. Falling behind in child support payments does not impact a parent’s visitation rights, as the courts place positive, healthy relationships between parents and children above the costs of support. Parenting plans also cover potential sticking points between parents, such as involvement in extracurricular activities, transportation needs, and other shared responsibilities. Our attorneys help clients reasonably address these issues and create parenting plans focused on the best interests of the children.
Divorce is never easy. DeZayas Law Group has handled family law cases involving various custodial, timesharing, and support issues. We provide personalized care and the professionalism you need in an emotional situation.
DeZayas Law Group is central Florida’s all-inclusive law firm offering professional services with the experience and track record you need to handle your legal representation. For more information or to learn more about our attorneys, call us at (863) 904-4710 or explore our website here.