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Child support enforcement

Child support enforcement is generally handled by the state. Enforcement methods can include withholding income, tax refund offsets, and license suspension.

Justin Thomas Bush | Jul 12, 2018

Child Support Cases in Virginia

Prerequisites to Filing In order to be entitled to child support in Virginia, a person must have at least one biological child with another, and have custody of that child either legally by court order, or practically by having the child the majority of the time. Petition for Child Support In order to have a child support hearing, the parent seeking support must file a petition for child support in the juvenile & domestic relations court for the city or county in which they live. Child support can also be obtained during a divorce, by administrative order, or as part of a protective order. However, the vast majority of child support cases come by petitions filed in juvenile courts. Trial Once the petition has been served on the other parent, a trial takes place. At this trial, the parent seeking the support award must show: (1) that the other person is the father/mother of the child, (2) the gross incomes of the parties, (3) the amount of health, vision, and dental insurance paid by them for the child (only), and (4) the amount of work-related daycare expense paid monthly. If all of these elements are proven, the judge enters an order awarding child support to be paid to the person seeking it. The amount of the award is provided by applying the figures given at trial to the Virginia Uniform Child Support Guidelines. These Guidelines are a simple mathematical calculation. The amount ordered is retroactive to the date that the petition was filed. Child support awards are in effect until a child's 18th birthday, and sometimes longer if certain circumstances are proven.

Jennifer T Miller-Morse | Mar 7, 2018

2018 FLORIDA CHILD SUPPORT: IS IT TIME TO GO TO COURT?

1. Florida Child Support Amounts Are Less Than You Think In Florida child support is calculated based on a mathematical formula. This formula is found in Florida Statutes Section 61.30, known as the Florida Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines specify the amount of child support based on the income of the parents and the number of children they have. Unfortunately, these amounts are based on the average costs of raising a child in 1972-1973. For example, the child support for one child when the parents earn a combined income of $100,000 per year is $1313 per month. The cost of hiring a lawyer to file your court case could eat up several months of child support before you ever get to buy any new clothes or shoes for your kid. 2. In Florida Child Support is Linked to Custody (aka Timesharing) Florida child support is reduced if the parents share custody of a child. In Florida, the way that the court determines if there is shared custody is by counting the number of "overnights" that a child spends with each parent. If the child spends 73 or more overnights with one parent, the court considers this "substantial" timesharing and adjusts the child support payment. If the parents share custody equally, this is known as 50/50 custody or timesharing. The child support owed between the parents is generally minimized when they have 50/50 timesharing. The result is that many parents who may have taken very little responsibility for child care when the parents were together will be motivated to get a substantial amount of timesharing after the break-up. If you don't want to hand over your child to the other parent for overnight timesharing 182 nights a year, think twice before going to court for child support. 3. Your Florida Child Support Case Can Stop You From Moving with Your Kids In Florida, paternity must be legally established for a father who was never married to the mother of a child. Until a father has legally established paternity, he has no legal right to custody of the child. This means that the mother is free to move to another state or even another country with the child. After mom files a child support case, however, she cannot move the child without court permission. If you long to move somewhere else to be near family, friends or a better job opportunity, think twice before you file a child support case in Florida court.

Jennifer T Miller-Morse | Mar 5, 2018

2018 FLORIDA CHILD SUPPORT: WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW CAN HURT YOU

1. CHILD SUPPORT IS NOT BASED ON YOUR TAKE-HOME PAY The Florida child support formula begins with the income of each parent and applies certain deductions. What many people do not realize is that income for child support is not the same as the income on your paystub. Your net income for child support purposes is almost always greater than your take-home pay. Why? Because many of the deductions taken from your paycheck are not deductions that can be counted for child support. To calculate child support, the Court begins with your gross pay. Then the Court deducts a handful of allowable expenses such as your mandatory taxes. Many of the other deductions taken from your paycheck by your employer, such as voluntary contributions to a retirement account, cannot be deducted. This means the Court will count that money as part of your income, even if you never receive it. 2. CHILD SUPPORT DOES NOT COVER ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR YOUR CHILD The Florida child support formula is based on the average costs of raising a child in 1972-1973. In addition, the guidelines do not account for the age of the child. Thus, guideline child support is the same for an infant who requires expensive diapers and formula and a 16 year old who works after school. For example, the guideline amount for a single child in a family earning $4,000 per month ($48,000 per year gross) is $828 per month, regardless of the child's age. Most families find that the amount of child support under the Florida guidelines is grossly inadequate to cover the child's actual expenses. 3. LESS TIME WITH DAD = LESS CHILD SUPPORT FOR MOM The Florida child support formula provides for adjustments if the parents share custody of a child. In Florida, the way that the Court determines if there is shared custody is by counting the number of "overnights" that a child spends with each parent. If the child spends 73 or more overnights with one parent, the Court considers this "substantial" timesharing and adjusts the child support payment. If the parents share custody equally, this is known as 50/50 custody or timesharing. The child support owed between the parents is generally minimized when they have 50/50 timesharing. The result of this formula is that many parents who may have taken very little responsibility for child care when the parents were together will be motivated to get a substantial amount of timesharing after the break-up. For some parents, their request for substantial timesharing is sincere. They truly want to have a substantial amount of responsibility for caregiving even if they did not participate much before. For others, the demand for shared custody is a cynical attempt to minimize their child support payment. They do not really want to care for their kids and they often do not follow through with the caregiving they demand.