Florida Divorce Myths: Florida Visitation and Child Support

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Written By: Lenorae C. Atter, Florida Family Law Attorney
latter@woodatter.com

In a Florida divorce, I realize there are divorce myths, which seem to circulate from Jacksonville to Miami. If you are going through a divorce there are certain myths that people seem to tell.
The most common myth for in a divorce with children is that the new time sharing law requires that you and your spouse have 50/50 visitation with the Child. This is not true. The Court looks at the best interest of the Child and in so doing, the visitation will be a factor. It is often not considered proper for 50/50 because the Child has different rules in each house, which plays a role in the child’s ability to do well in school, at home and in extracurricular activities.
The second myth is that child support is negotiable. This is not true, because according to Florida Statute, a parent cannot negotiate away the Child’s right to child support. Support for a child is determined on the income of both parents and tries to place the child in the same position s/he would have been had the parents stayed together.
The third is that if you aren’t allowed or use the time sharing (visitation) then you do not have to pay child support. If the lack of contact is due to you or your spouse, that does not alleviate your financially responsibility to your child. Visitation does not equal child support.