Circumstances have changed a great deal from the way child support was handled in the past. When couples divorced, custody was primarily given to the mother and the father paid child support. Today, there are more women in the work force and the roles of caregiver and provider are no longer carved in stone. People are living their lives differently, and the unique circumstances of their lives determine who pays child custody. Attorney Cindy D. Sackrin explains that “According to current child support law in Florida, both mothers and fathers are legally obligated to contribute to the financial support of their children.
Child Support and Child Visitation
One thing that many divorcing or divorced couples fail to realize is that child support and child visitation are two separate issues under Florida State law. Visitation is not a bargaining chip that the custodial parent can use to make the non-custodial parent pay. Both areas have been worked out according to the issues of the case and according to the visitation and child support laws of the state. If either parent fails to live up to their obligation, the issues of child support or visitation will need to be revisited.
Child Support Can Be Modified
Many divorced parents think that the amount of child support the court orders them to pay or receive is carved in stone. They believe the amount will remain the same until their child becomes an adult and they are no longer entitled to financial support.
The problem with this analogy is that things rarely stay the same. When circumstances change, the amount of support being paid may change as well. Most often, changes are required when the parent who is paying support experiences a decrease in their income. A change may also be requested if the parent who is receiving support has an increase in income or the child develops special needs such as medical or dental treatment that is ongoing.
Parents need to understand that child support laws are designed to provide care for the children without putting a financial burden on either parent. Even after a marriage has come to an end, both parents have the responsibility of providing the best possible care to their children. If yours or your child’s circumstances change, or you suspect your former spouse has had an increase in income or they have misrepresented their earnings, contact your child support attorney to learn your legal options.
Failing to Pay Child Support Can Lead to Suspension of Your Driver’s License
Sometimes parents are unable to pay their child support for good reason such as a temporary illness or loss of income. Your child support attorney can guide you on how to present these matters to the court. However, without a valid, verifiable reason for withholding payment, child support laws in Florida allow the state to have your driver’s license suspended. Divorced couples should realize that their obligations to their children are enforceable by law and will remain the same unless they take the proper channels through a qualified family support attorney.