If you have recently consulted a Tampa Bay attorney about divorce and you have had one or more children with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you likely have some questions about child support. Child support guidelines vary from state to state. Your divorce attorney can advise you as to what you can expect in the courtroom and what factors are considered when a child support agreement is established.
Who Must Pay Child Support?
During a divorce, the court will determine which parent will have primary physical custody of the children. The children will primarily live with this parent and the other parent may have visitation rights. The noncustodial parent can be ordered to pay child support.
How Is the Amount Determined?
As your divorce attorney can advise you, the court evaluates a number of factors to determine how much to order the noncustodial parent to pay to the custodial parent. If there are multiple children involved, the amount of child support will increase with each additional child, for example. The court will also evaluate the income of each parent. Other factors the court will consider include the costs of daycare, healthcare, and extracurricular activities.
How Are Child Support Orders Established?
If you are the custodial parent, you can consult a divorce attorney for help requesting a child support order. Your family law attorney can ensure that your application provides all the necessary information for the proper processing of your case. After the noncustodial parent is notified of the child support application, a court date will be scheduled.
How Are Child Support Orders Enforced?
Support orders are legal documents that the noncustodial parent must abide by. Should the noncustodial parent fail to pay child support as ordered by the court, the Enforcement Unit can take legal action. The Enforcement Unit may institute payroll deductions, which means that child support payments will be taken directly out of the noncustodial parent’s paycheck. The Enforcement Unit also has the authority to seize the noncustodial parent’s tax refunds or lottery winnings. A noncompliant parent may have his or her driver’s license suspended or a referral for contempt may be submitted to the court.