Friday, July 2, 2010

Child Support Changes


A new approach to calculating child support was signed into law in Florida in June and will effect most, if not all, of the cases that are currently pending before the courts. The law goes into effect either in October 1, 2010 or January 1, 2011 and in short, it drastically changes the way in which child support is calculated. It used to be that unless you had your child or children for 40% of the overnights, you did not receive any type of substantial contact credit. That has changed significantly. Once this law goes into effect, anyone who has their child or children for at least 20% of the overnights (every other weekend from Friday to Monday, alternating holidays and 1/2 the summer) will get a substantial contact credit. Additionally, the following changes will be made:

1. A child support order will have to have a specific termination date and have step down child support specified. This means if you have more than one child there will have to be a termination date inserted for after the first child reaches the age of majority, and then a changed amount and a termination date for each child thereafter. (i.e., child support shall be $1,200 per month for three children terminating June 10, 2012, then $900.00 for two children terminating on August 1, 2014 and then $600.00 ending June 10, 2016).
2. Daycare expenses are no longer discounted by 25%. You now will get credit for 100% of your daycare costs, however, the childcare tax credit will be taken into consideration when determining child support.
3. The courts may have the ability to impute income to someone if they don't provide "adequate" financial information in order to calculate child support. What income they can impute is the change, in that, they can automatically impute income to that party to have the income equivalent to the median income of year-round full-time workers as derived from the current population reports or replacement reports published by the United States Bureau of the Census. (If you can figure out what that means, call me.)

In a nutshell, I believe that the legislature is trying to cure the problem of people demanding extra overnights during the week in order to get a substantial contact credit. We'll see if that still makes a difference, but for now, it appears that the way that we calculate child support is going to make some people very happy.

33 comments:

Tulsa Divorce Attorneys said...

Hi Christine,

Do you honestly think your state has a problem with parents seeking the extra custody nights at the current moment down there in Florida... in order to rack up extra child support dollars?

Daniel

Christine Bauer said...

Yes, I think that is an issue. Some people don't want to "allow" the extra night because of the reduction in child support, some people only "want" the extra night when they hear there will be a reduction in child support. I would say that its not the norm, but it is an issue. Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

I suffer from this very problem. Once my daughter's father found out about the reduction he fought for overnights even though he works nights and our child had to stay w/a so called fiance. The worst thing was that the judge truly believed he had good intentions, granted him such and now the girlfriend is gone. He now will do anything to keep from having an increase in cs, even going so far as leaving her with the ex to keep his overnights. Now to make things even worse they are now only required to keep them 20% of the time to receive a credit, what's next? I receive a whopping $71/wk capped at $310/month, and he wants a reduction from that. Nevermind her father doesn't share any addtional cost such as daycare, summer camp, ect. My daughter is 9 steadily suffering being shuffled between two households with a schedule even an experienced attorney couldn't grasp now adding a third, what ever happened to the best interest of the child?

Anonymous said...

Does the current or proposed law dictate whether the non-custodial parent should pay a portion of extra-curricular activities? If the statute is silent on the issue, does that mean the support amount awarded should be used to pay for reasonable extra-curriculars?

Anonymous said...

Every case is different, but I am a proud Dad of three girls. Two from my first marriage. I got 38% time sharing, even though I wanted more. This percentage is only based on keeping the time below 40%. I have paid full child support for 5 years and my only regret is that I don't spend more time with my two older girls. Maybe now the mother will be willing to allow more time with the girls since it will not cost her any cash.

Anonymous said...

This law is ridiculous if the kids live with YOU (a mom who works a low wage job) and you are open and sharing cusotdy with your ex (the dad) already (who earns over 6 figures!! MY bills are not going to go down because the kids are with their father 73 nights or more a year... this law is for fathers - not for mothers or kids! I amy now lose my home because my ex is threatening to lower his cs based on this law or says go work at publix when for 10 years I have worked part time and this allowed my kids to do great in school (I help them with HW every night, not a daycare center). Do moms who work part time and take care of their kids get a fair shake with this law? NO - welcome back to the ddakr ages where women will stay married to abusers so they are not losing their kids or not able to live a decent lifestlye with their kids. watch.

Christine Bauer said...

Please see my September 30th, 2010 post for a follow up on all of these questions...

Anonymous said...

This law is ridiculous if the kids live with YOU (a mom who works a low wage job) and you are open and sharing cusotdy with your ex (the dad) already (who earns over 6 figures!! MY bills are not going to go down because the kids are with their father 73 nights or more a year... this law is for fathers - not for mothers or kids! I amy now lose my home because my ex is threatening to lower his cs based on this law or says go work at publix when for 10 years I have worked part time and this allowed my kids to do great in school (I help them with HW every night, not a daycare center). Do moms who work part time and take care of their kids get a fair shake with this law? NO - welcome back to the ddakr ages where women will stay married to abusers so they are not losing their kids or not able to live a decent lifestlye with their kids. watch.

TO THIS BLOGGER:

Some people such as myself would have to disagree with your opinion,I am a loving father,would has looked out for my son while a very selfish woman used this so called dark aged system to take him from me in 6 months I have not seen my son and I pay child support.This system has been out-of-date for decades and is good for the men that care,that want to make a difference in there childs life,The rules were much easier though back then in coloinal era,and counting back to before christ. see the wife could leave the relationship or marriage, but did not have the right to do as they please with the children,that was intrusted to the father.It worked for 1,965+ years and know look at this unbalanced farce of a system,which woman have harped the abused string for 30 years, u wanted woman's liberation you wanted equality,you got it,well we(The Men-The Father's) want it too. "What's Fair is Fair." enough of this system that awards the person because of gender or because she refuses to educate herself and selfishly says it's for the child. EQUALITY IS THE ANSWER. The answer to it all is the best interest of the child is the parent doing the most for the child now and in his or her(s)future as far as education and better paying jobs,mother'should have to make the state's minumum salary requrments but have to go back to school to maintain the 50/50 custody order,enough is enough and fair is fair.

Anonymous said...

I think it is about time they finally did something with child support. There are mothers out there that only want their children for that child support check and not allowing or giving less than 40 % of the childs time to the father. Now with this new law going into effect I believe it will benefit the child the most. At least the children with get to spend more time with each parent and not one parent hogging all the time with the child just to benefit themselves and the money they get. One comment I would like to make is for all of you lazy women that dont work or only work part time---- get off your butts and get a full time job and help support your kids because it is not all the father's responsiblity ( I am a female writing this and I always worked fulltime if not 2 jobs to support my kids). Open your eyes people, your child is the only one suffering in the whole situation. Maybe now the child will be able to enjoy their time with both parents and not just one of them.

Anonymous said...

this is so wrong. the father of my 5 year old walked out in february 2010, and refuses to pay any child support. she and i have shuttled from one house to another, and was just told by child support enforcement it will take 6-12 months to get anything. he sees her every weekend. I finally got food stamps, and a family from our church has taken us in. meanwhile, he has been saving his money and is buying a new car! child support hearings have been continued, until next date is jan 4, 2011. does this reduction apply to back child support owed?

Anonymous said...

My daughters father has not paid a dime in support since he walked out a year ago. Does this change affect back child support? Our temporary child support hearing has been postponed yet again, until Jan 4, 2011.

Anonymous said...

First of all, child support is for the children. It is not supposed to used to provide a better or higher lifestyle while you have children living with you. My son's mother shops at the finest shops and eats out several times a week. She then hounds me about how my cs payments are not enough for her anymore. Well, it sounds like she needs to live a normal lifestyle and stop buying designer clothes, makeup, weekly manicures and pedicures (you should see my feet!) and monthly perms/colorings. I spend alot of time with my son and spend alot of additional money on him but I do not get credit for that. cs also changed my way of life and I have to eat out of cans and microwaved foods. I havent bought new clothes for myself in 3 years!

shaun said...

Im sorry, but if a man has to maintain his own household so he can keep his child (though it may be less), and has to pay child support, he should get some sort of help. Its not the fathers fault the mother was too lazy and/or stupid to learn how to get a good paying job.

Anonymous said...

To all the mothers out there that are in abusive relationships, I feel your pain, but what about the fathers that want custody and could provide a better life than the mother and court still awards custody to the mother, soley based on the fact that they are mothers. I would love to leave my cheating wife, but I know that I wont see my kids as often/much as I like. On top of that I have to pay her CS so she can "live a certain lifesyle", give me the children and I will provide the lifestyle and environment they need. Just because you are female doesn't make you a better parent. This law is balances the field, the courts are so skewd in favor of mother's, thatresponsible fathers don't stand a chance.

Anonymous said...

I think that there are a large number of woman who depend on their child support to pay other bills. especially the woman who do not work and rely on welfare, food stamps and assistant living. When is the government going to make the deadbeat woman get out and get jobs and have the men pay for all of their expenses. By the way, I am a woman and I am fed up with men with Baby mama drama. Ladies grow-up and think about your children instead of yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Come on ladies, I am a single parent. It does not require that much money to have your child. Stop spoiling your kids with wants and start providing them with their needs. That would save you some money. Also, if your child is such a burden to you....let the dad keep the child and you pay child support.

chevonne said...

Im a proud father and have spent more than the 20% of the time with my daughter. Her mother has taken all the money Ive giving her and yes she does supply for my daughter, but she seems to supply more for herself. with numerous trips across the country as well as out of the country. Shes gone through numerous jobs, Where you can say shes not had a stable job since my daughter was born (14yrs). Men have been taken advatage of since this law has been enforced and now that they want to bring some equaility to this broken system, women want to complain. The custodial parent has been abusing and using the child a tool for the longest, regardless the other parents situation, If there willing to spend time with the child then let it be. Every case is differnt so this is 1 small tool that can possibly bring some balance to this law. May there be more on both sides to bring equality for the 1 in the middle. (the child)

Anonymous said...

I would just like to say that I am glad the new law about useing 40 hour work week for moms with custody to calculate child support in some cases is great. My husband has a ex who refused to go to work wanted us to support her sitting at home. Judge told her it was not her ex's place to support her but to support the child. If she wanted more income get a job. For this case it is a great new law. But I also understand the other side being a single mom myself for years before meeting my new husband.

Anonymous said...

I think every situation is completely different! My husband pays over $500 a month for one child and comes home with 400 dollars every two weeks. And this is all because his ex is a stripper and doesn't claim her tips. She claims she makes barely anything. And now he owes $15,000 in rears when he just found out it was his child because she told him the child wasn't his and wouldn't let him get a paternity test. She wised up and wanted child support so the test was done but now she won't let me husband see his son. And now it's back to court....in situations like this, this law is helpful for crazy mother's who think they are owed the world. She is the one who created this situation. My husband has tried from day one and their is only so much you can do without the funds.

Anonymous said...

i'm not even from florida but i'm now thinking about moving there! Females in this country are starting to shift the balance from equal to rule with a iron fist, it is in human to say a father has two pay child support and the mother limiting custody and what's so bizzar is that its men who inforce these law not women they just use us. i have never missed a child support payment but i dont think its fair and i would give all just to see my child and have a genuine bond with my child, how can a man have a genuine bond knowing he is just a visitor and he paying support. If a women wants to be single be single and independent its not equal when one is paying the other they need to make a child support visa where u can only use it for food water and if u cant provide you shouldnt get custody they should visit, one day the world of men and women will relize this system is wrong i just hope i live to see the day.

Anonymous said...

Wow .. this is so ridiculous that people are fighting over time.. which is currency on earth.. if the father gets the kids over the expected amount of time or more he should get a financial break for this .. he has to keep a home, buy food.. pay bills just like the mother.often times the father lives in an enviroment much lower than the mothers because of the amount of money paid to her.. which by the way she is not told how to spend the money..This is a big money game and somehow the children are not the primary focus.. I say we should have shared custody 50/50 .. also split the taxes odd even for custodial and non custodial..arguing over money and time to get more money and time is ridiculous.. be fair in what you do and the outcome will not be a hardship because you never know when the shoe will be on the other foot.. for too long it has been one sided against men.. and its about time that the power and the respect be given to the other parent who helped raise and make them.

NewWifeinStPete said...

I am thrilled for this law. MY husband has offered to continue paying his wife of ONE year the same $2000 a month if she would please just grant some more time. He doesn't care about the money. She said he could pay her for $150 for each day "extra" that she gives him. Can you imagine? This is why she got herself pregnant in the first place for money. Which is clearly evidenced by "selling" time. You can't imagine this 10-year olds alienation and brainwashing. Finally the mother is under investigation. BTW, did I mention that she is doing the very same thing wiht her new baby from another man who left her for her sociopathic personality...so sad that FL laws DON'T see the value of the best for the parent and only see $$ for the mom. Who cares about that? We just want more time and less influence by this crazy so-called "mother" But for dads in FL, the judges just don't care...Judge Boyer is ridiculous and thank God is out of the family law court system! Maybe a few judges out there will get that there ARE more and more crazy "mothers" out there now that Casey Anthony trial is showing these non-remorseful psychopathic/sociopaths for who they really are or can be. What a shame since so many dads are totally alienated from the children because of the number of overnights! I hoep more laws change like the tax break for dads and mandatory mental-illness testing for false child abuse allegations. Children need hope, children need a father just a much as a mom. Should always be 50/50!

Anonymous said...

Child support and custody is always difficult. My husband was emotionally abusive to me. It's one of the hardest things in the world for me to do to watch my son leaving with him every other weekend. But my son loves his dad and I know that he'll let me know if dad gets abusive with him. In the meantime, heck yea he needs to pay me. He has to pay to keep his son in his the home he was used to living in. To keep clothes on him and to keep in in as close to the lifestyle that we had before his selfish, crazy butt walked out. As far as the discount goes, I would gladly give him a discount for NOT seeing his son. Since that won't happen I'll deal with the law. My concern is what's best for my child, not how to get even with my ex.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who say that women are lazy and need to get off their butts, you don't know everything! My son has multiple medical issues I've been dealing with since he was 3 weeks old. His father and I split when he was 3 months old. He's now 9yrs old. When I was losing job after job and struggling to make ends meet because the daycare would call and say he needed to be picked up because he was too ill to be there. Or I would be spending a week in the hospital at a time. While this was going on, his father worked a Monday through Friday 9-5 job and went to college, telling me to let him know how our son was doing. He now makes over $18 an hour and is asking for majority time sharing and for me to pay child support. Because I don't have a college education (we were 17 and 19 at the time of my son's birth) I work part time in retail which doesn't allow me to have a set schedule, but which does allow me to take my son to ALL of his doctor's appointments, including the many ones his father doesn't show up for. How is this right? I understand that fathers want time with their children, I understand that they have bills too, but are you truly considering what's best for the child? Are you considering the sacrifices that the parent who has been the "primary" parent may have had to make for that child? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

About time something good happens to fathers! Get a job and earn your own money!!!

Anonymous said...

Can you be arrested in FL for back child support as a father when you are legitimately disabled!

Anonymous said...

I pay 800 dollars for child support on my son I only make 12 dollars an hr , the cheapest rent I can find is 750 a month in naples florida then I have to pay utillities daycare on my other son who I have full custody all on my own and because the judge saw more pitty on the mom my other son suffers because I can afford anything else, no its bull shit child support needs to really be address by many factors not only because mom has it hard, dads can have it hard to, I lose 50 % of my pay on one child I take care of my son sunday through tuesday every week because I wasnt allowed to have equall custody, well what about my other child he thinks my eldest is more special because more funds go to him I have to always explain thats not the case, we cant afford new clothes like his brother can because my ex and her husband have two incomes and my support. So to all woman who think only they have it bad it goes both ways

Christine Bauer said...

Someone left a question about whether or not you can arrested for back child support if you are disabled. The short answer is yes, you can if the court's believe that you had the ability to pay your court ordered support but chose not to. Its all about your ability to pay and willfulness of your failure to pay. My suggestion is that you should always pay something even if its $25.00.

Anonymous said...

Ugh...Getting so tired of people saying that their bills aren't going down because the child is "visiting" the other parent. Here's a news flash. If while the child is gone you still have to keep up a household for his return, then while the child is away from the NCP he has the same issue. Now find another argument to get away with stealing from your ex! And actually, If the NCP's bills go up when the child visits, then by contrast...YOUR'S DO INDEED go down. When my kids spend a week at their aunts house it reflects on my grocery bill, my electric bill, my water bill, my gas,...EVERYTHING but our regular house payment. So that statement that your bills don't go down...IS BULL!

Anonymous said...

What about cases that are already in affect? Will they be automatically adjusted or do I have to file for the adjustment? It's honestly about time the non-custodial parent got a break. I work hard and attend school to better myself (Oncology) yet I can't afford rent and a USED car payment. Thats a place to lay my head and a means of transportation to and from work and school. The system has been ridiculous for a very long time.

terry said...

I am a single mom, my exhusband left when I was pregnant with our second child. shortly afterwards, my older son was diagnosed with Autism. I endured a pregnancy and diagnosis /treatment of my sick child , all by myself. MY ex husband has sporadically picked up the kids, whenever he didnt have anything else better to do, and sometimes not at all and simply not showing up. I have a weekend, night job so I can provide for my children. My personal life, was secondary. Their father has NEVER paid for a medication, ER visit, Dentist bill, books, uniforms, ANYTHING outisde the $850/month I get paid for 2 children. UNfortunately, I found out recently, that he was verbally and mentally abusive to BOTH kids, and allowed his wives or girlfriends (there have been many)to run the show..The kids were terrified of him,and didnt tell me until recently when they got the courage.....Finally, he moved away almost 1 hr driving distance, and just decided he couldnt pay $7 in gas to pick up and drop off his children on weekends and even went as far as telling the kids, if your mom doesnt send you on the train, I am not going to get you either.... insane!!!. He has been a difficulty person, and preferable to avoid. The children have needed, therapy ( at my expense , of course) to get over their major feelings of rejection.
Im only giving you this little history,not to bash my exhusband, but because sometimes you need to pick and chose your battles. Luckily, I did study, got a degree, and have a great job. I have chosen to solve all my problems and avoid friction and tension. I pay their medical insurance, school tuition(s), meds, clothing, entertainment (reasonable),and put a roof over their head. It isnt all about money, the kids needs to feel security, and happiness and know they have someone they can count on... I am not defending the men or the women, because there are nut jobs on both sides....But everyone forgets the main concern in the wellbeing of the kids....

Austin child custody lawyer said...

Hi Christine,

You have explain the child custody issue very well and also I'm agree on your views on over the Daniel comment.

Thanks Christine for sharing nice content.

Anonymous said...

This is a law that is long overdue! To all you mothers who, for some reason, believe you have more value in a childs life, get over yourselves! You are NO more important than the father. There is no reason for you to stay home to take care of the kids and live off of child support. Get a job and provide for your family like men have been doing for years. I come home everyday and work with my kids on their homework, cook dinner, and get them ready for bed. While doing all all that I make sure I have meaningful conversations with them to know what is going on in their lives. The days of women making unilateral decisions that they will be the primary caregivers is finally over!!!!