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Child Support

Anytime people become parents, they are agreeing to take responsibility for their children. Part of taking responsibility is providing for children’s day-to-day needs, such as clothing, shelter and medical insurance. This core parental duty is the very reason why the child support system was created as payments are meant to give children the financial support they need to thrive.

Getting and Paying Child Support

Child support can be ordered by a Florida court as a result of a divorce or when an unmarried couple parts ways. If a couple seeking a divorce has children, the parent who takes custody of the child or children can ask for child support. A judge will determine whether or not child support should be awarded and in what amount. To do so, the judge will consider:

The incomes of both parents
The child’s healthcare and child care costs
The standard needs of the child
If a judge determines that child support is necessary, he or she will order the non-custodial parent, the parent that the child does not live with, to pay the custodial parent a set amount of money for child support purposes on a regular basis, usually monthly.

Modifying and Enforcing Child Support

A child support order can be modified if the financial situations of either parent change significantly—enough to merit a change of at least 10% in monthly child support needs. Typically, a child support order must be in place three years before it can be modified, but certain exceptions apply. Florida child support services are handled by the Florida Department of Revenue. The child support services offered by the Department of Revenue can be used to help you modify your support order or enforce payment of child support. The Florida Department of Revenue can take several steps to force a parent to pay their court-ordered child support, including: Notifying the parent of their overdue payments Suspending the parent’s driver’s license Seizing tax refunds, lottery winnings, unemployment payments or workers compensation to pay for overdue child support Taking money directly from the parent’s bank account Having employers deduct payments directly from the parent’s paycheck Taking the parent to court

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