Child support is important for making sure that a child has enough financial assistance for proper healthcare, nutrition, and education. It is also important for the parent who is obligated to pay to remain current on their payments and get help as soon as possible during financial troubles, as the consequences for missed payments can be severe. One of the best ways to make sure you are following the rules for child support properly is to retain the services of an experienced family law attorney. 

Local community efforts to support children

Local news for the Fort Walton area reported on the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center’s program to provide services and gifts to children in need in Walton and Okaloosa Counties. The non-profit organization has helped about 12,000 children during the last 19 years during the holidays at no cost. 

Organizations such as this reflect society’s long standing interest in protecting children. Part of the reason why child support is required is to make sure that children are not neglected, malnourished,or otherwise improperly cared for because of disputes between the parents. The courts step in when parents are separated to make sure the child has access to the same resources they would have in a two parent home. 

How is child support determined?

In Florida, the state uses a formula that is based on a person’s income. A certain percentage of their earnings needs to be provided to the custodial parent for things like food, daycare or babysitting, medical treatment and healthcare, and educational expenses. The courts will generally only take an amount that the non-custodial parent can afford based on their earnings, however it may be modified higher or lower in some rare situations. 

A custody hearing is usually required first to determine which biological parent will be required to make payments to the other, and amounts can change based on the time the non-custodial parent has access to the child. In other words, the more time one parent spends with a child, the less money they will have to give to the other parent.  

Why is a lawyer important?

The hearings for both custody and support present an opportunity for both parents to give information to the court about things like their work schedules, income, and even concerns about the other parent. Experienced lawyers will know the local judges and provide advice about how to best present this kind of information in a favorable light. They will also give guidance about what information is most important and how to possibly deviate from the child support guidelines if you have any special needs or concerns. Additional hearings may be required due to issues like relocation, unemployment, or career changes.   

Get help from an attorney in north Florida

If you are having any issues with child support payments, or need to schedule a hearing to modify child support, contact ASG Legal. Fort Walton Beach child support lawyers specialize in this area of the law and they can provide superior advice and representation. 

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