CLERMONT FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY:

CHILD CUSTODY / CHILD SUPPORT

 

When minor children are involved in a dissolution of marriage, the Florida courts will do everything possible to help lessen the emotional trauma the children may be experiencing. If the parents cannot come to an agreement regarding the issues involving the children, the court will establish the custody order at its discretion.

 

The court shall have jurisdiction to determine custody, notwithstanding that the child is not physically present in this state at the time of filing any proceeding under this chapter, or if it appears to the court that the child was removed from this state for the primary purpose of removing the child from the jurisdiction of the court in an attempt to avoid a determination or modification of custody.

 

The court shall determine all matters relating to custody of each minor child of the parties in accordance with the best interests of the child and in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. It is the public policy of this state to assure that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing. After considering all relevant facts, the father of the child shall be given the same consideration as the mother in determining the primary residence of a child irrespective of the age or sex of the child.

 

The court shall order that the parental responsibility for a minor child be shared by both parents unless the court finds that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child.

 

In ordering shared parental responsibility, the court may consider the expressed desires of the parents and may grant to one party the ultimate responsibility over specific aspects of the child's welfare or may divide those responsibilities between the parties based on the best interests of the child. Areas of responsibility may include primary residence, education, medical and dental care, and any other responsibilities that the court finds unique to a particular family.

 

The court shall order sole parental responsibility, with or without visitation rights, to the other parent when it is in the best interests of the minor child.

 

CHILD SUPPORT

 

Florida child support guidelines are based on the Income Shares Model for calculating child support. The monthly support amount determined by applying the guidelines is divided proportionally according to each parent's income. These two support amounts are then offset to establish which parent will pay the other parent for support of the child. All income is typically verified by examining past W-2's and child support worksheets are available at the courthouse.

 

The court has the right to order child support according the Florida Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines are based on the income of each parent along with applicable deviation factors that may exist. If the parents cannot come to a reasonable agreement on the child support amount, the court will use the support guidelines located in the Florida Statutes.

 

It is important to note that the court may adjust the minimum child support award, or either or both parents' share of the minimum child support award, based upon a number of considerations.

Family Law Practice Areas

Divorce

Paternity

Child Custody / Child Support

Modifications

Equitable Distributions

Injunctions

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