What Happens to Child support and Alimony in Bankruptcy

Debts will be treated differently in bankruptcy based on their classification. Child support and alimony in bankruptcy receive nearly the greatest level of protection under Florida’s bankruptcy laws. Although child support is considered “unsecured debt,” which is typically dischargeable, the Bankruptcy Code provides special treatment for this domestic obligation. See bankruptcy law 11 U.S.C. § 507(a). However, there may still be options to reduce the amount of child support, you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney in Tampa for advice about your specific case. A Tampa bankruptcy attorney can help describe some of the options that may be available to reduce your amount of child support.

CHILD SUPPORT AND ALIMONY IN BANKRUPTCY

Child support and alimony will be the first of the unsecured claims to be paid among all your other unsecured creditors. Keep in mind that child support and alimony obligations cannot be discharged through either Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. See bankruptcy laws 11 U.S.C. § 727 & 1328. You will be responsible to continue making those payments to your former spouse during the life of your bankruptcy case, and after you receive your discharge.

PROTECTING THE CHILD SUPPORT AND ALIMONY YOU RECEIVE

If you are an individual who receives child support and/or alimony, you will be able to protect that income with the “support” federal exemption afforded to you by the Bankruptcy law. See 11 U.S.C. § 522. The entire amount that you receive from your former spouse will be protected, meaning that the trustee cannot take that income away from you. For information about a specific case or set of circumstances you should contact a bankruptcy law firm in Tampa to schedule a consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer.

AUTOMATIC STAY PROTECTION

Child support and alimony will also receive protection under the “automatic stay” that takes place once you file bankruptcy. This takes effect immediately in order to preserve the property of the estate and to prevent any pre-petition claims from being paid outside of your bankruptcy. See bankruptcy law 11 U.S.C. § 362. However, if you have a judicial lien against you for failure to pay your child support or alimony obligations prior to you filing bankruptcy, the automatic stay will not apply to that judicial lien and you will be responsible to pay that lien amount. Again, this lien amount will not be discharged in either Chapter 7 or 13. For more information on discharge of debts in bankruptcy click here.

CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY FOR CHILD SUPPORT & ALIMONY

Additionally, if you are behind on your child support and/or alimony obligations, filing Chapter 13 may be a good avenue for you to get caught up on your payments. In fact, you would be required to pay any outstanding child support or alimony payments in full through the life of your Chapter 13 repayment plan in order to receive discharge. The benefit of having your child support/alimony obligations paid through your Chapter 13 plan is that it could potentially reduce the amount that you would have to pay back to other unsecured creditors and increase the amount of credit card or medical debt that would be discharged at the end of your Chapter 13 plan.

 

Bankruptcy Law Firm in Tampa

Bankruptcy law can be very confusing and intimidating. If you are considering seeking bankruptcy protection you should contact a bankruptcy law firm in Tampa for legal advice. The bankruptcy attorneys at our firm have years of experience helping people just like you to solve their financial problems and obtain a fresh start. We have many options available that can help you successfully manage your debt and regain your financial health. Regardless if you need help with Chapter 13, Chapter 7, or other debt relief, our professional legal team will provide you with competent legal advice you can trust. To see which options may be available to you, contact us to today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a bankruptcy attorney at our firm.

enforce child support in Florida

As child support attorneys, we are commonly asked by our clients, how to enforce child support in Florida. Under Florida child support law, each parent of a child has a duty to provide for the basic needs of his or her own child. That duty exists regardless of the existence of a marriage between the parents of the child. Upon a couple separating who has children together a court will grant a child custody order that may contain a child support order. The first step to enforce child support in Florida is to bring a court action for child support. A child support order issued in Florida (or any other state) is a legally-enforceable court order requiring one parent to make a periodic payment of support to the other parent for purposes of supporting the child or children. The amount and duration of the child support payments will be based on Florida’s Child Support Guidelines. For assistance with the Guidelines contact a family law attorney in your area.

How to Enforce Child Support in Florida Through Department of Revenue

Florida has very strict child support laws to ensure that a parent is paying their required amount of support. Sometimes, the noncustodial parent refuses to pay child support, and the custodial parent must ask for help in order to collect the money from the non-custodial parent. There are several options a parent can choose to enforce child support in Florida. The Florida Department of Revenue governs the enforcement of child support obligations in Florida. There are many different options the Florida Department of Revenue has when they have been notified by a child’s parent that the other parent is not paying their court ordered child support. Additionally, you can seek the assistance of a private family law attorney to compel enforcement of the child support.

The following are ways that Department of Revenue can help enforce child support in Florida:  send notices of late payments, send notices to withhold payments to the parent’s place of employment so the payments would come directly out of the parent’s pay check, the parent’s driver’s license, along with other types of licenses, can be suspended until the late payments are made, a meeting can be set up with the parent at a local child support office to negotiate a payment agreement, the parent’s federal income tax return or lottery winnings above $600 can be seized to pay the child support order, the amount owed can be deducted from benefits from reemployment or workers compensation, or the amount can be garnished from bank accounts or other accounts of the parent’s. A family law attorney in Tampa can also file a motion for contempt and request a Florida family law judge issue additional penalties for the nonpayment of support.

Enforce Child Support in Florida by Filing a Motion for Contempt

There are options in which the money is not taken from a source of the parent’s income, but rather as a way of punishing the non-paying parent until they pay their child support order. Those options are as follows: there can be a lien placed on the parent’s personal property such as a vehicle or boat, the obligations can be reported so it shows up on the parent’s credit report, or the parent can be denied a passport until the payments are made. Further, if the parent is able to pay and refuses, the parent may be held in contempt, fined, incarcerated, or a combination of those until they pay their past due child support obligation. Additionally, a Florida family law judge can order delinquent parents to reimburse the other parent’s attorney’s fees and other expenses related to the motion for contempt.

Tampa Child Support Law Firm

A skilled family law attorney can make a big difference in actions to enforce child support in Florida. If you are owed back child support, seeking to modify a child support order, or need to defend against an unjust child support request contact Florida Law Advisers to speak with a child support attorney in Tampa. Our professional legal team is passionate about these matters and will work diligently to fight for what is fair. With our experience in family law litigation we are more than ready to present a compelling case on your behalf and to stand firm for what is fair. Call us today at 800 990 7763 to schedule a free consultation, we are available 24/ 7 to answer your calls.

How to Lower Child Support in Florida

Your child support payments may have been established based on a case with the Department of Revenue or as part of a Final Judgement in a Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) or Paternity case.  Regardless of the avenue which established your responsibility to pay child support, there may be ways how to lower child support in Florida cases. To see if you qualify for a reduction in child support contact a family law attorney. Conversely, a family law firm in Tampa can also assist with preventing the other parent from reducing the amount of support they pay.

How to Lower Child Support in Florida

The same standards at issue when establishing child support payments will be at the center in a case for modification of child support.  Therefore, unless something has changed, your child support payments will not change.  In fact, in order to even qualify for a modification, you must prove a “substantial change in circumstances” since the last order was issued.  See Florida Statutes 61.30.

The judge will only be concerned with changes that occurred after the prior case and will not want to hear about anything that was argued about during the initial child support case.  Even if there are facts that were not discussed in the prior case those facts will likely not be relevant, as the Court will only be interested in the changes since the last order was issued. Thus, when trying to figure out how to lower child support in Florida you should focus on events that occurred recently and after the prior child support case. An experienced family law attorney in Tampa can help you determine which evidence may be helpful and how to lower child support in Florida.

How to Lower Child Support in Florida When a Parent’s Income Changes

If either parent has had a significant increase or significant decrease in income, this will affect the child support calculation based on the Florida Child Support Guidelines.  Even if you have had a decrease in income, that does not automatically mean your support payments will decreasem as the opposing party may have also had a decrease in income, and that decrease may or may not be more significant than yours.  It is important to discuss all facts of your case with a child support attorney and to allow an attorney to conduct an investigation before filing for a modification. A thorough case review will likely need to be done before you can develop a plan on how to lower child support in Florida.

How to Lower Child Support in Florida When Custody Changes

Another way that child support payments may increase or decrease is if the time-sharing arrangement between you and the other parent changes. See Florida Court of Appeals case Bloom v. Panchysyn. Generally, the more time a parent spends with the child the lower their child support payments will be.  However, child-support should be considered an effect of time-sharing rather than the other way around.  To establish a change to the time-sharing arrangement (also known as “custody” in other jurisdictions), you will need to show not only a substantial change in circumstances, but also that the change is in the best interest of the child or children.

Trying to determine how to lower child support in Florida can be a difficult task.  To best know your rights and responsibilities as well as options, consult with a family law attorney experienced with child support law and with modification cases.

Family Law Firm in Tampa

The family law attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. have years of experience in both advocating for and against modifications. Our attorneys know what factors are important to Florida family law judges and can competently advocate for our client’s rights. If you would like to speak with a family law attorney at our firm callus today at 800 990 7763. Our initial consultation is free of charge and requires no commitment.

retroactive child support in Florida

Child support is defined as a court ordered obligation of financial support for the care, maintenance, training, and education of a child. Child support is the responsibility of every parent, regardless whether the two parents are married, divorced, or never married. Under Florida child support law, parents are not able to waive child support obligations. Parents of a minor child have a legal and moral duty to support and maintain their child. See Finn v. Finn. However, parents are allowed to stipulate and agree to the amount of child support, so long as the amount is in the best interests of the child.  See Fox v. Haislett.  The agreement can also include retroactive child support in Florida.

Agreements on retroactive child support in Florida are subject to approval by a Florida family law court a Therefore, if you are able to reach an agreement with your child’s parent you should contact a child support attorney in Tampa for advice on whether or not the agreement will hold up in court.

How to Petition for Retroactive Child Support in Florida

Under Florida child support law, a parent has the right to seek retroactive child support. For instance, if a child is born out of wedlock and paternity was proven when the child turned 12 years old, the court can order the father to pay retroactive child support in Florida. The retroactive child support will date back to when the parents did not reside together in the same household with the child. However, the period for the retroactive child support in Florida must not exceed 24 months preceding the filing of the petition for child support. A child support attorney in Tampa can assist with preparing and filing the petition for retroactive child support in Florida.

Prior to the enactment of the retroactive child support law, back child support for paternity cases was not limited to 24 months and could go as far back as to the birth of the child. The statute on retroactive child support in Florida was enacted in 1998. Therefore, if a child was born prior to 1998 the amount of back owed child support will not be limited to just 24 months. See Harris v. McKinney. In these cases, the mother may seek child support dating back to the date the child was  born. Additionally, the mother may be able to sue for retroactive child support even after the child is over the age of 18. See Campagna v. Cope.

Calculating the Amount of Retroactive Child Support in Florida

The amount of child support to be paid is based primarily on the Florida Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines outline how much child support will be required by each parent based on their net income and the number of children involved. In retroactive child support cases, this can be very difficult because the parent’s income may have fluctuated during the period child support should have been paid. For instance, if the parents had incomes that varied weekly during the 24 months, the court may have to make individual determinations for each week during the 24 month period.

All payments made by the father or third parties for the benefit of the child throughout the proposed retroactive period can be factored into the amount of child support owed. Additionally, the court must consider allowing a payment plan for the amount of retroactive child support to be paid. For more information on the amount of retroactive child support in Florida contact a Tampa child support attorney.

Child Support Law Firm in Tampa

An experienced child support law firm in Tampa can make a big difference in a child support case. If you are owed back child support, seeking to modify a child support order, or need to defend against an unjust child support request contact Florida Law Advisers to speak with a Tampa child support attorney. Our professional legal team is passionate about these matters and will work diligently to fight for what is fair. With our experience in family law litigation we are more than ready to present a compelling case on your behalf and to stand firm for what is fair. Call us today at 800 990 7763 to schedule a free consultation, we are available 24/ 7 to answer your calls.

 

Florida child support

Child support is defined as a court ordered obligation for the financial support for the care, maintenance, training, and education of a child. When determining the amount of Florida child support to be paid by each parent a court will defer to the Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines outline the amount of support to be paid and is based primarily on the parents’ net income and amount of children involved. In most cases, a Florida family law court will follow the Florida Child Support Guidelines; however, a court does have discretion to deviate from the Guidelines. For information about a specific Florida child support case or set of circumstances contact a Tampa family law attorney for advice.

Florida Child Support With Children Born Prior to the Initial Child Support Order

If a parent is ordered to pay Florida child support it can affect the amount of support that will be required to be paid for subsequent children. If the parent pays court ordered child support for other children, the amount can be deducted from the parent’s gross income used for Florida child support calculations. See Child Support Law 61.30(3)(f).  On the other hand, if a parent supports a child without a court order requiring them to do so they will have to seek a reduction under a different section of the law.

Under Florida child support law, adjustments to the Guidelines may be premised on a parent’s reasonable and necessary expenses. Providing support for other children can potentially be classified as a reasonable and necessary expense under the law. See Flanagan v. Flanagan. These types of cases can be complex and require a thorough understanding of Florida child support law, you should consult with a Tampa family law attorney for assistance

Modification of Florida Child Support

Florida Child support orders can be modified if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. The primary criteria in determining the amount of child support will be the child’s needs and the ability of each parent to pay. Therefore, if there is a substantial change in either a parent’s ability to pay or the needs of the child the court may modify a pre-existing child support order. Modification cases will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case, for information about any specific situation contact a family law attorney in Tampa for assistance.

Normally, the birth of subsequent children will not be sufficient grounds to seek a modification decreasing the amount of child support. See Florida v. Feeney. Further, if the parent takes on a 2nd job to support one or more subsequent children, the court can exclude the earnings from that job when determining the amount of support to be paid. In order for subsequent children to be grounds for modification reducing child support special circumstances must exist. An example of special circumstances justifying a reduction can be a later born child who has severe and expensive health problems. See Robinson v. Robinson.

Tampa Family Law Attorney

A skilled Tampa family law attorney can make an impact in a child support case. If you are contemplating filing for divorce, child support, or modifying an existing child support order contact Florida Law Advisers to speak with a family law attorney in Tampa. With our experience in family law litigation we are more than ready to present a compelling case on your behalf and to stand firm for what is fair. To speak with a divorce lawyer at our firm call us today at 800 990 7763.