It is public policy in the state of Florida that both parents shall be liable for the financial responsibilities of raising a child, regardless of whether they are currently married, romantically involved, divorced or otherwise estranged. As such, Florida family court judges have the authority to establish a child support order to compel a non-custodial parent to support the custodial parent in raising the child.
Generally speaking, child support payments are made directly to the custodial parent, who uses these payments to defray the costs of raising the child. A majority of men are ordered to pay child support, as they commonly held to be the non-custodial parent. Many who pay child support resent this obligation because they see it as a form of spousal maintenance, or they believe that such payments are merely used to finance a custodial parent’s lifestyle. However, these payments are to be used on the vital needs of the children, such as rent, food, and clothes.
Just as with any other court order, child support obligations must be followed completely. For parents who are not properly paying support, the state has many tools available to ensure compliance. This is where wage garnishment, intercept of federal and state tax returns, and even placing liens on property comes into play.
While Florida law establishes support by using statutory guidelines, every family’s situation is different, and the court may find reason to deviate from them. An experienced family law attorney can analyze your situation and advise you on child support.