Child Support

Child Support Attorney in Orlando, Florida

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Seeking Fairness in the Enforcement of Parental Responsibilities

As an experienced Orlando Child Support Attorney, I help represent Floridians in cases where children are involved to follow the child support guidelines determined by the State of Florida. This means that a Child Support worksheet must be filed with the courts along with a Family Law Financial Affidavit. Child support is highly regulated here in Florida so that the best interests of children are served. The courts look at the parent’s net income, child care costs in an area, health insurance costs, percentage of time spent with each parent, and other expenses before determining child support payments. In some instances, both parties will attempt to negotiate and resolve payments prior to going before the court for approval. The Florida divorce lawyers attempting to negotiate this type of settlement must have the approval of the courts to deviate from the state’s mandated child support guidelines.

Should you or your former partner wish to amend the child support worksheet, it is my job to assist in the fair negotiation of an alternative settlement.

Since my childhood, I have naturally gravitated to the struggles of the underdog. My natural inclination to fighting for social justice has spurred my desire to work toward righting society’s wrongs. This commitment has been reflected by my travels around the world to perform nonprofit work and providing pro-bono representation to those whose voices might otherwise go unheard.

This orientation has recently triggered a shift in my practice toward father’s rights on some issues like child support. While I represent fathers and mothers in cases involving child support issues, a growing number of men have sought me out because of my commitment to preserving the rights and responsibilities of both parents. Our law office frequently represents parents struggling to obtain a fair child support order and enforce the terms of that order. However, we understand that child support should never be used as a sword that drives a wedge between parents and negates their ability to cooperate in the parenting of their child.

Special Child Support Issues Facing Fathers

Orlando child support attorney Beryl Thompson-McClary has represented hundreds of parents in disputes involving child support, so she recognizes that the breakup of a relationship or marriage poses severe financial hardships on both parents. The father might incur the temporary obligation of funding two households, changing jobs, paying spousal support obligations, and incurring other financial burdens. Failure to adequately take these issues into account can result in unaffordable child support burdens. Because of my commitment to social justice for those subject to societal stereotypes or legal disadvantages, my office offers exemplary legal protection to ensure child support orders are reasonable and fair.

Calculation of Child Support in Florida

Florida law uses an “Income Shares Model” to calculate the amount of child support. The theory behind this approach involves estimating that amount of support that would have been available for the child had the parents’ relationship remained intact. This estimated amount is allocated between the parents based on their relative income. While this method of determining the amount of child support might seem complicated, Florida Statutes Section 61.30 provides a formula for calculating the presumptive guideline amount for people in most income brackets. The factors included in this calculation include:

  • Income of each party after payroll taxes (for wage earners)
  • Time-share of each parent
  • Number of children of the relationship
  • Daycare costs
  • Monthly medical insurance cost for the children

The relative income of the parties and the overnights the children spend with each parent are the most significant factors in the calculation of this presumptive support amount. While this amount will be ordered in most cases, the court has some flexibility to deviate from the guideline amount by five percent in either direction if the judge determines such an adjustment is warranted based on the facts.

Our seasoned Orlando child support lawyers persuasively advocate for the fairest amount of support for our client. Whether we are ferreting out attempts by a self-employed parent to hide income or voluntarily remain underemployed, or arguing for an adjustment based on special circumstances, we are committed to protecting clients from support amounts that are excessive or insufficient. Our law firm also represents clients in related proceedings involving contempt or modification of child support.

Special Rules for High Net Income Parents

Divorce and paternity actions involving high net worth parents require special expertise for reasons other than the amount of potential income at stake. These types of cases often involve disputed forms of income, multiple income streams, and other compensation that can complicate the process of determining a high earning parent’s income. If the parents’ combined income exceeds $10,000 per month, the presumptive amount of support is the minimum amount of support under the Guidelines plus a percentage of the combined net income over $10,000. The support related to the amount of income exceeding $10,000 is based on a percentage determined by the number of children and the net monthly income above $10,000. If you have more specific questions about child support in cases involving combined income exceeding $10,000 a month, you should seek legal advice from an experienced high-income child support attorney by contacting our law firm.

Contact the Law Offices of Beryl Thompson-McClary, P.A. Today

Whether you are a father wanting protection from an excessive child support order, or a mother worried the other parent is artificially reducing his income, our law firm can investigate the facts to identify attempts to cheat the system. We also provide tenacious advocacy of our clients’ rights in enforcement and modification proceedings. We have law offices in Orlando and practice in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard, and Volusia counties.  To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney, you can call our office at 888-640-2999.