hiding income to avoid child support

Under Florida family law, a court must defer to the Florida Child Support Guidelines when determining the amount of support. The Guidelines prescribe the amount of support to be paid based on the net income and number of children involved. In most cases, a Florida family law court will follow the Florida Child Support Guidelines; however, the court does have discretion to deviate from the guidelines. For instance, if a parent is hiding income to avoid child support the court can impute income to that parent. The court can also impute income if a parent is unemployed or underemployed. Cases involving imputation of income are often highly contested and can be very complex. Therefore, you should seek the advice of a Tampa family law attorney if you need assistance with a case where the parent is hiding income to avoid child support.

Imputation of Income When a Parent is Hiding Income to Avoid Child Support

Under Florida family law, when a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed the court shall impute income. The income should be based on the employment potential and probable earning capacity of the parent. See Florida child support case Guard v. Guard. When imputing income for cases where a parent is hiding income to avoid child support or is unemployed, the court will consider the parent’s recent work history, qualifications, and prevailing income level in the community.

The family law judge must make specific factual findings based on evidence relating to the current job market, the parent’s employment history, and prevailing salary in the local community in order to impute income. If there is sufficient evidence to support the court’s imputation of income it will not be reversed on appeal without a finding that the court abused its discretion. See Rojas v. Rojas. Admitting sufficient evidence can be difficult, you should seek the advise of a family law firm in Tampa for assistance.

Two-Part Test for Imputation of Income When a Parent is Hiding Income to Avoid Child Support

Before a Florida family law court imputes income in cases where a parent is hiding income to avoid child support a two-part test must be applied. First, there must be a determination that the lack of employment or reduction in income was voluntary. Next, the court must determine whether or not the loss of income resulted from the parent’s pursuit of his or her own interest or is due to a less than diligent and bona fide effort to obtain employment, at an income level equal to what the parent could earn. See Florida child support case Schram v. Schram.

In determining whether or not to impute income when a parent is hiding income to avoid child support, Florida courts focus less on whether the parent left his or her previous employment voluntarily or involuntarily and more on what the parent has done since the prior employment. For instance, whether the parent has remained unemployed voluntarily or has made a bona fide faith effort to find employment. The child support lawyer seeking to impute income will have the burden of proof. The lawyer must show income should be imputed to the other parent based on the two-part test above.

How to Calculate Child Support When a Parent is Hiding Income to Avoid Child Support

In cases where a parent is hiding income to avoid child support, the amount of child support will be based on the net monthly income imputed to the parent. Net monthly income is determined by subtracting the allowable deductions from the imputed gross monthly income. In child support cases, the amount of support must not require a parent to pay more than they can afford. See Florida family law case Moss v. Moss.

If the court deviates from the amount outlined in the Child Support Guidelines by more than 5% a written explanation by the court will be required. Further, if the written explanation is not supported by sufficient evidence it may be subject to appeal. When deciding whether or not to deviate from the Guidelines, the court will consider all relevant factors. The factors include but are not limited to: the needs of the child, standard of living, each parent’s age, and the financial status of each parent. See Florida child support law 61.30.

Family Law Firm in Tampa

The family law firm in Tampa you retain can make an impact in a child support case. If you need help with a child support, contact Florida law Advisers to speak with a Tampa family law attorney. The child support lawyers at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. have extensive experience in both advocating for and against imputation of income when a parent is hiding income to avoid child support. With years of experience in family law litigation we are more than ready to stand firm for what is fair. To speak with a divorce lawyer at our firm call 800 990 7763 to schedule a free initial consultation.

How to Determine the Amount of Child Support in Florida

Child support is court-ordered obligation of the financial support for the care, maintenance, training, and education of a child. See Florida child support law 39.01. Child support is the responsibility of every parent, regardless of whether the two parents are married, divorced, or never married. If the two parents cannot agree on how to determine the amount of child support a Florida family law judge will step in and decide the outcome. Florida courts will defer to the Florida Child Support Guidelines when deciding the amount of child support to be paid. For information on how to determine the amount of child support contact a family law attorney in Tampa.

How to Determine the amount of Child Support Under Florida’s Child Support Guidelines

The Guidelines outline how much child support is required based on the parents’ net income and number of children involved. The amount and duration of the child support payments will vary based on the individual circumcises of each case. This article is a general description of how to determine the amount of child support in Florida, for information about your specific case seek the advice of a family law firm in Tampa.

The amount of the payments must be in accordance with Florida child support law and the Florida Child Support Guidelines. The main factors determining  the amount of support to be paid are the combined monthly incomes of both parents and the number children they share together. The amount of overnight stays each parent has with the children will also impact amount of child support required. Additional factors such as the medical, dental, psychological, and educational needs of the child will also be considered.

How to Determine the amount of Child Support With Shared Custody

In child support cases involving joint custody (shared parental responsibility), the court will typically apply a four step analysis when deciding how to determine the amount of child support. The first step is to calculate the total amount of child support required by reviewing the Guidelines. Next, the court will determine each parent’s share under the Guidelines. Each parent’s share of the child support is determined by dividing the net monthly of each parent by the combined net monthly of both parents. Next, the court will determine the amount of time each parent has custody of the child in the form of a percentage. For instance, if the parents have 50/50 custody their individual responsibility will each be 50%.

The next step in how to determine the amount of child support will be to review the Child Support Guidelines to determine each parent’s share of the support. The court will proportion the total child support on the percentage of time each parent has custody of the child. See Jaworski v. Jaworski. Calculating the amount of child support in Florida can be difficult, consider retaining a Tampa family law attorney for assistance.

If the combined monthly net income exceeds the $10,000 listed in the Guidelines additional calculations will be needed. The amount in excess of $10,000 will be calculated by the applicable percentage based on the number of children and amount of income in excess $10,000. See Florida child support law 61.30. For more information on cases where the net monthly income exceeds $10,000 contact a family law attorney in Tampa.

How to Deviate from the Florida Child Support Guidelines

Most often, the judge will follow the Florida Child Support Guidelines when deciding how to determine the amount of child support. However, the court does have discretion to deviate from the guidelines when deciding how to determine the amount of support. Regardless, child support will need to be reasonable and not require a parent to pay more than they can afford. See Marsh v. Marsh. When deciding whether or not to deviate from the Guidelines, the court will consider all relevant factors. These factors include but are not limited to: the needs of the child, standard of living, each parent’s age, and the financial status of each parent. See Finley v. Scott. If the Court deviates from the Child Support Guidelines by more than 5% a written explanation will be required

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 Martland v. Arabia. Parents are allowed to stipulate and agree to the amount of child support. However, the amount of support must be in the best interests of the child.  Agreements on child support are subject to approval by a Florida family law court. The agreements will only be approved if the agreement provides for the proper care and maintenance of the child. See Wendel v. Wendel. Therefore, if you are interested in reaching an agreement as to the amount of child support you should consult with a child support lawyer before entering into any such agreement.

Tampa Family Law Firm

If you are contemplating filing for divorce or need assistance with child support contact Florida Law Advisers, P.A. to speak with a family law attorney in Tampa. The family law attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. have years of experience helping clients in the Tampa Bay area resolve their child support disputes. Our professional legal team is passionate about these matters and will work diligently to fight for what is fair. Whether a couple mutually agrees to the terms of a divorce or are engaged in a fierce battle for their property and child custody rights Florida Law Advisers can help. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation with a Florida family law attorney at our firm.

enforcement of child support

When a court order to pay spousal or child support is violated it can have devastating effects. Often, a parent or former spouse will depend on the funds each month to make ends meet. Fortunately, Florida family law provides many different tools for child support enforcement. If you are not receiving child support or alimony a court awarded you contact a family law attorney for assistance. A family law firm in Tampa may be able to assist you by petitioning a court to employ one of the options for enforcement of child support or alimony listed below.

Wage Garnishment

Under Florida child support law, a court is authorized to garnish wages as a method of enforcement of child support. A wage garnishment automatically deducts the funds you are entitled to receive from the payor’s paycheck. The court can require the enforcement of child support by garnishment to occur on a periodic basis and continue for as long as the court deems necessary. Further, orders for child support are not susceptible to the head of household defense to garnishments. See Waddell v. Schwarz.

Suspended Driver’s License

Failure to pay support or alimony can result in a driver’s license suspension as enforcement of child support or alimony. See Florida family law 61.13016. Additionally, under Florida Statute 61.13015, the payor’s professional license can be suspended as a form of enforcement of child support. However, a court can deny the license suspension petition if it would result in irreparable harm to the payor and not help accomplish the objective of collecting payment. Additionally, the court may refuse to suspend a license if the payor demonstrates a good faith effort to make payments.

Enforcement of Child Support by Civil or Criminal Contempt

Failure to comply with a court order of support can be enforced by either civil or criminal contempt. However, civil contempt is used much more frequently than criminal contempt. In order to convict a person of criminal contempt, the evidence must prove the defendant has the ability to pay and the failure to pay is willful and intentional. See Bowen v. Bowen. Further, since it is a criminal action, the prosecution must be in compliance with Rule 3.840 of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. If convicted of criminal contempt for failure to pay court ordered alimony the incarceration must not exceed 180 days. The incarceration is designed to encourage payment of the funds that are due, rather than retributive. Therefore, often a court will purge the contempt if a specified amount is paid by the defendant.

On the other hand, the burden for obtaining civil contempt as a means of enforcement of child support only requires proof that there is a prior court order directing the defendant to pay alimony, and the defendant has failed to pay according to the terms of the court order. However, a defendant can defeat a civil contempt action by demonstrating that due to circumstances beyond his/ her control he/ she no longer has the ability to tender the payments required by the court order. For this defense to apply, the defendant must prove the failure to pay is unintentional. Further, the defendant must also prove the failure to pay is due to an intervening circumstance not contemplated at the time the original order requiring support was entered.

Garnishment of Tax Returns

If a party does not adhere to a court order to pay child support their federal income tax dependent exemption may be allocated to the other parent. See Florida Statute 61.30. Further, the court can order the exemption to be allocated to the payee either on a permanent or rotating basis. The dependent tax exemption can be a substantial amount of money. Therefore, in some cases this can be a significant penalty for failure to comply with a child support order.

Defenses to Enforcement of Child Support or Alimony Orders

The payor may have legal defenses which will prevent a Florida family law court from taking enforcement action. Defenses to payment include but are not limited to: laches, the child has reached the age of majority, and a present inability to pay the amount owed. There may be other defenses available as well. For advice on a particular case or circumstance contact a family law attorney in Tampa for advice.

Tampa Family Law Firm

A skilled family law attorney in Tampa can make a big difference in enforcement of child support or alimony. If you are seeking enforcement of an alimony or child support order, or trying to prevent contempt for failure to pay contact Florida Law Advisers, P.A. to speak with a family law attorney in Tampa, Florida. The family law attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. have years of experience in both advocating for and against enforcement of alimony and child support orders. With years of experience in family law litigation, we are more than ready to stand firm for what is fair. If you would like to speak with a divorce lawyer at our firm call us today at 800 990 7763.

child support when parents live in different states

When a family moves from one state to another or the parents reside in different states it can be confusing how to receive child support when parents live in different states. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) is designed to help resolve these issues. Under federal law, each state is required to have the UIFSA in effect to enforce child support orders. The UIFSA provides uniformity amongst the states for child support procedures. Additionally, it provides for enforcement of child support orders from foreign states. Thus, under the UIFSA, a child support lawyer in Tampa can take legal action to enforce a child support order on a resident of another state.

Using UIFSA for Child Support When Parents Live in Different States

Under the UIFSA, all states are required to recognize and enforce child and spousal support obligations from other states. Therefore, a Florida attorney can help with child support when parents live in different states. For instance, if a Florida family law court issues a child support order and the father subsequently moves to New York, the UIFSA will assist in enforcing the order in New York. Without the UIFSA, Florida may not have jurisdiction to enforce the child support order when parents live in different states.

The UIFSA is very complex and can be difficult to understand without proper legal training. Therefore, if you are a Florida resident seeking to enforce a child support obligation on a resident of a state other than Florida you should seek the assistance of a Tampa child support attorney.

Florida Department of Revenue When Parents Live in Different States

The Florida Department of Revenue can also assist in the collection of child support when parents live in different states. The Florida Department of Revenue can garnish wages, suspend a driver’s license, withhold federal income tax refunds, and take other measures to help obtain payment of child support from Florida residents. If the party obligated to pay is not a Florida resident, the Department can also assist in working with the state the payor resides in to enforce the child support obligation. Moreover, the enforcement action will not be barred simply because the child is over the age of 18. See Florida v. Vorac. The Florida Department of Revenue can be a great resource but they are no substitute for a family law attorney.

Starting a Case for Child Support in Florida When Parents Live in Different States

The UIFSA can also be utilized in Florida to establish child support when parents live in different states. See Florida Child Support Law 88.4011. Thus, a Florida court can establish child support, regardless if the parent seeking payments resides outside of Florida. Conversely, Florida can also assist with enforcing a support order from another state. If you do not fall into either one of these two categories, contact a family law attorney for assistance. A child support lawyer may be able to provide options for child support under a different Florida family law statute.

Florida Family Law Firm in Tampa

If you have not been provided the child support you are entitled to contact Florida Law Advisers, P.A. to speak with a family law attorney in Tampa. The child support attorneys at Florida Law Advisers have years of experience assisting in child support cases.  We understand how important these matters are and are here to provide the legal support you need. To schedule a free initial consultation with a family law attorney call us today at 800 990 7763.

child support when the parent lives outside Florida

If you are a Florida resident but your child’s other parent lives in a different state, you may be wondering how to collect Florida child support when the parent lives outside Florida. Conversely, if a Florida court already ordered child support but now the father lives in a different state, how can you enforce the Florida child support when the parent lives outside Florida? The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act may provide the answer to both of these questions. Under federal law, each state is required to enforce the UIFSA to help improve the enforcement and origination of child support orders. The UIFSA provides uniformity amongst the states for child support procedures. Additionally, it allows for enforcement of child support orders on residents living in different states within the U.S. Navigating the UIFSA can be difficult, if you need help contact a family law attorney in Tampa for assistance.

Florida Child Support When the Parent Lives Outside Florida

Under the UIFSA, all states are required to recognize and enforce child and spousal support obligations from other states. Therefore, you can use UIFSA to collect Florida child support when the parent lives outside Florida. For instance, if a Florida family law court issues a child support order to a resident of Georgia, the UIFSA will require Georgia to enforce the order and collect the child support funds. Without the UIFSA, Florida may not have jurisdiction to enforce the child support order on the Georgia resident. Unfortunately, the UIFSA is very convoluted and can be difficult to understand without proper legal training. Therefore, if you are a Florida resident seeking to obtain or enforce Florida child support when the parent lives outside Florida a family law attorney in Tampa can assist with this matter by utilizing UIFSA.

Florida Alimony When the Parent Lives Outside Florida

The UIFSA can be utilized for many types of legal issues affecting families that are separated by state borders. The statute does not only cover child support when the parent lives outside Florida. For instance, UIFSA provides for the establishment of spousal or child support establishment. Additionally, it is used for the enforcement of child support orders (including wage garnishments), and modifications of a child support. However, the UIFSA cannot be used to resolve any issues regarding child custody or visitation. See Florida v. Ridge. Moreover, the UIFSA cannot be used to condition the payment of child or spousal support upon the granting of visitation.

Using the Constitution to Collect Florida Child Support When the Parent Lives Outside Florida

Additionally, the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution along with other federal statutes can be used in combination with the UIFSA to enforce  Florida child support when the parent lives outside Florida. Under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, each state must recognize the judicial decisions and statutes of states within the U.S. Further, federal child support law requires each state to enforce a valid child support order. However, child support law requires that the state have both personal and subject matter jurisdiction.

Personal jurisdiction refers to a court’s authority over the parties in the case. On the other hand, subject matter jurisdiction refers to a court’s authority to rule on the substance  of the dispute. For information on subject matter or personal jurisdiction contact a Florida family law attorney in Tampa.

Tampa Family Law Firm

If you need assistance with a child support or alimony case contact Florida Law Advisers, P.A. to speak with a Tampa family law attorney. The family law attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. have years of experience helping clients resolve their child and alimony disputes. Our professional legal team is passionate about these matters and will work diligently to help achieve the outcome you desire. Call us at 800 990 7763 to schedule a free initial consultation with a Florida family law attorney.