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Child Support

At the South Florida Law Office of Arica L. Braaten, P.A., we can help you establish child support and modify or enforce an existing order for support; please call (954) 380-6000 for your free consultation. 


When couples separate and there are children involved, both parents need to support their children.  Every state has guidelines that help establish the amount of child support that needs to be paid.  Child support guidelines vary from state to state, but they all have some components in common.  All guidelines are based on the parents' incomes, expenses and the needs of the child.  In Florida, the guidelines are set out in a table format that calculates the child support amount as dollar figure based on both parent's income and the time sharing schedule.  There can be deviations from the child support guidelines if there are compelling reasons to do so.  For example, if a child has higher than average medical  expenses or if the court determines that the paying parent is intentionally earning less than he or she could for the purpose of minimizing the child support obligation, the judge can calculate the amount of child support based on what the payer is capable of earning.

The amount of child support is determined by Florida statute.  There is a formula that is used to calculate the amount to be paid by both parents.  When calculating the proper amount of support needed a number of factors that need to be considered such as: 

  • The number of overnight visits that each parent has with the child
  • The individual needs of the child such as medical/dental expenses, after school care and summer camps
  • The current incomes of both parents
  • The cost of health insurance for the child

It is very important that the proper financial income figures are used, so the proper amount of child support is paid.  The Deerfield Beach Law Office of Arica L. Braaten, P.A. can help you with your child support issues. 

It’s important to know some facts about child support.  First, a parent can’t terminate their parental rights to get out of paying child support.  The State of Florida takes the position that two people brought the child into the world therefore both have a legal duty to support the child.  However, the court can take away parenting rights for abandonment, neglect, or abuse.  Second, child support cannot be discharged in bankruptcy proceedings.  Third, a parent cannot agree to a lower amount of support, as support is the child’s right-- not the parents.  Fourth, even if a parent moves out of state, that parent still has a responsibility to support the child.  Under the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (RURESA), if one state orders a parent to pay child support that order will be enforced by a court in the state to which the paying parent moves.  There are two options for how to proceed in collecting the child support that we can discuss. 

If you are having problems with child support, either establishing, modifying or enforcing it call the Broward County Office of Arica L. Braaten, P.A. today at (954) 380-6000 to schedule your free initial consultation so that we can help you. 

Every parent has the duty to provide his or her children with the basic necessities.  This responsibility usually ends when the child is emancipated, graduates from high school, enters the military or marries.  The support obligation can extend beyond that point if the child is totally incapable of self support-- this usually means the child is mentally or physically disabled.  The law generally does not dictate the level of support that is provided if the children continue to live with both parents, but when, through divorce or other circumstances, the child is primarily living with one parent, there are guidelines to determine financial support the parents must provide.

Let the Deerfield Beach Law Office of Arica L. Braaten, P.A. help you.  Contact my office today at (954) 380-6000 to schedule an appointment.