Recent Changes to Florida’s Child Support Laws

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Effective January 1, 2011, any and all child support orders entered into on or after October 1, 2010 must provide:

1. The termination of the child support shall end on the child’s eighteenth birthday, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties.
2. A child support schedule. This schedule shall state the amount of the monthly child support obligation for all the minor children at the time the order is entered. The schedule shall also provide the amount of child support that will be owed for any children remaining after one or more children in the order are no longer entitled to receive child support.
3. The month, day and year that the reduction or termination of child support becomes effective.

The recent changes also provide the Child Support Guidelines and Principles that will be follow by the Florida family courts.
1. Each parent has a legal obligation to support his or her minor or legally dependent child.
2. The guideline schedule is based upon the parents’ combined net income that the child would be receiving if the parents were still living in the same household.
3. The goal of the guidelines is to encourage fair and efficient settlement of child support issues between parents, as well as minimize the need for litigation.

Establishing child support can be a very litigious matter. You should contact a Florida Family Law Attorney to discuss how to keep your matter out of court. Hopefully, you and the other party can settle any child support issues in a process called mediation. This will keep you our of court and your expenses down.