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While there are certain areas of Family Law that can be a bit convoluted and arcane, child support is certainly not one of those areas.  In FL Stat. 61.30, also known as Child Support Guidelines, the net income of both parties is taken into account, in addition to a number of other factors, most importantly the number of children common to both parties.  As a family law attorney located in St. Petersburg, my job is to provide you with the representation necessary to ensure you achieve the best outcome.  

In certain circumstances, the courts have the power to deviate from the Child Support Guidelines.  The deviation can be upwards or downwards of 5%.  It's very rare that courts deviate from the guidelines more than 5%, unless, there is a situation where there are "exceptional circumstances." Parties to a proceeding must be aware that when you seek to deviate (change) from the child support guidelines, you must be prepared to prove by testimony and documentation why the judge should vary from the guidelines.  

Please take a look at some of the most commonly referenced Florida Statutes discussing the child support laws in the state of Florida.

Section 61.13 Discusses the Support of children; parenting and time-sharing; powers of court

Section 61.13 Probably the most important child support laws in Florida because it addresses time-sharing. The child support laws in Florida are such that when each parent has 20% or more of time with the child(ren), a “gross up method” is used to calculate child support. 

Section 61.14 Enforcement and modification of support, maintenance, or alimony agreements or orders.

Section 61.13 is also one of the most important child support laws in Florida as it addresses how child support is enforced and modified.

Section 743.07 Rights, privileges, and obligations of persons 18 years of age or older.

Section 743.07 deals with the situation of what happens when a child is in high school when they turn 18. This Section also deals with continuing child support for a child who is dependent because of a mental or physical incapacity which began prior to the child reaching majority.

Here is one question that comes up very often:

As a parent in a paternity case, looking to receive child support, how long can I go back (retro-active child support)?

Answer:  In the State of Florida, a parent seeking child support can go back TWO years from the date their petition was filed, in addition to current support they are seeking.  

As family law attorney located in St. Petersburg that serves the Pinellas County area, I am dedicated to ensuring that all families reach an amicable solution to any legal problem encountered. When it comes to the issue of child support, it is imperative that you hire an attorney that will fight for you until the end.  Child Support is an issue that comes up often when dealing with time-sharing issues and having a lawyer knowledgeable in this area can help ensure that you will a) receive the proper allocated amount due or b) pay what is required under Florida law, not a penny more, or less.  Please feel free to contact us to schedule your consultation (over the phone, or in our St. Petersburg, FL office, will require a fee).   

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