In the aftermath of a divorce, child support is one of the most important issues to decide. Unfortunately, one or both members of a former couple often leave disappointed or frustrated, either because they feel the child support arrangement isn’t fair or their spouse misrepresented them in court. Child support services from a Tampa Bay lawyer can ensure that your child support ruling goes your way and is fair to all parties. Read on to learn more.
Child Support Laws in Florida
In Florida, divorcing couples who have one or more children are obligated to address child support. Florida state law provides that child support is the parent’s financial responsibility for expenses relating to a child’s care, education, maintenance, and other needs, put into effect by court order.
Both parents are obligated to provide child support, and neither parent can waive child support obligations if they are the legal parent of the child(ren) in question. According to Florida state law, child support amount and payment mandates may be affected by factors such as:
- The combined monthly income of both parents
- The number of children shared by the parents
- The number of overnights with the children for each parent
- Health insurance expenses for the parents and children
- Daycare, and
- Which parent is the primary guardian of the children
Child support payment obligations are oftentimes based mostly or solely on income. For instance, in a situation where both parents share an equal amount of time with their children, if one parent makes more money, that parent may be obligated to pay child support to the parent with less income.
Why Child Support Services Are Important
If you’re in the midst of a divorce case, you need to take child support orders seriously. If a person is ordered to pay child support and doesn’t, state law provides the court with some very impressive means to ‘motivate’ that person to pay. For example, if the person has the ability to pay the ordered amount and still chooses to not pay, the court may order the person’s driver’s license to be suspended, or their professional licenses to be suspended, or garnish their income, or seize their assets, or even (in extreme cases) put the non-paying parent in jail. Child support services from knowledgeable Tampa Bay lawyers are crucial for a variety of reasons.
Ensure You’re Represented Fairly
For starters, the right lawyers can ensure that you are represented fairly in court no matter what. In many cases, supposedly unbiased judges can side with one member of the divorcing couple or another – usually, the courts side with mothers against fathers, even in cases where the evidence should result in a different decision.
It’s difficult to represent yourself fairly in court in the best of circumstances, let alone during the emotionally turbulent time of the divorce. Lawyers can represent you successfully and maximize your chances of a favorable outcome.
Attain Fair Child Support Orders
As touched on above, Tampa Bay child support lawyers can help you get a fair child support order from a judge. If you earn more money than your spouse, the right lawyers can help you minimize financial damage based on things like time spent with the children, your spouse’s income, etc. There are many nuances to how child support is calculated.
Filing all the paperwork necessary to get through a child support hearing can be difficult. Your lawyers can look over the paperwork on your behalf, gather and organize evidence to strengthen your case, and otherwise ensure you are ready to go come court day.
Help with Skip Outs
Sometimes, one or another partner in a divorcing couple may decide to skip out on child support payments and be a “deadbeat parent.” That circumstance can be disheartening and frustrating. For example, a father may try to avoid paying child support payments to his children, despite court orders.
With experienced Tampa Bay family law lawyers, you can rely on their time and effort to respond quickly to the dilemma and ensure that your child receives the necessary income ASAP.
Assistance Modifying Tampa Child Support Orders
As situations change, it may become necessary to seek a modification to an existing Tampa child support order. For instance, your ex-spouse may get a promotion at work, meaning they don’t need as much of your money as they did previously.
But getting child support orders modified can be very tough. Your legal team can go to bat for you and work hard to push for a child support modification or amendment, especially if your own finances are straining under the burden.
What to Look for in a Tampa Bay Child Support Lawyer
While Tampa Bay child support lawyers can be valuable assistants for your case, you shouldn’t hire the first law firm you find. Instead, you should only rely on the skills and expertise of law firms that demonstrate the following attributes.
First, make sure your child support lawyer has enough experience to make them a worthwhile partner for your case. The more experience a lawyer has, the better.
Experienced lawyers know what to expect from the court system, may have valuable contacts with judges, and know the ins and outs of the process so they won’t make unnecessary mistakes. More importantly, lawyers with experience stand a better chance of acquiring a favorable child support order on your behalf.
Commitment to Your Case
Next, only hire a Tampa Bay lawyer who can commit fully to your case. Some larger law firms may try to take on too many cases at once, so they may relegate your case to a junior partner or to someone without enough experience.
When you sit for an interview with a prospective child support lawyer, ask them who will handle the case and be sure to verify that they have the time and resources to give it their full attention. Your child support case deserves as much effort as any other case, so don’t settle for anything less.
Fair and Unbiased Approach
Lastly, if you are a father in a Tampa Bay child support case, don’t hire lawyers who are biased against you. Hire lawyers who have a reputation for fair and unbiased approaches to all cases.
Even in this day and age, many in the family law system are unfairly biased against male guardians. Your lawyer should not have this weakness – make sure they’re committed to representing you fairly and treating you with the respect you deserve.
Contact Hunter Law Today for Tampa Bay Child Support Services
When you need knowledgeable child support lawyers backing you up in court, you need Hunter Law.
As experienced and well-educated family law professionals, we’re well-equipped and ready to assist with your upcoming child support case or hearing. Contact us today to learn more.