Can Florida Parents Waive their Right to Child Support?
No. Child support is not like spousal support, which an adult has the right to waive his or her right to receive. A child cannot support him- or herself financially and even if one parent can support a child completely, that parent does not have the right to waive his or her child’s right to receive child support for any reason. Child support is a separate area of a divorce settlement from a couple’s property division and spousal maintenance agreement – in some divorces, an individual waives his or her right to seek spousal maintenance in exchange for a larger share of marital assets. Child support is determined by the court in conjunction with the Florida Department of Revenue, not the divorcing parents.
The Purpose of Child Support
Child support exists to provide the child’s primary custodial parent with an additional financial resource to cover the costs of raising a child. These costs can include the cost of a larger home or vehicle, additional groceries and higher utility bills, and the child’s personal needs like clothing, school supplies, and enrichment.
Child support is a legal requirement. Failing to make one’s child support payments is an act of contempt of court that can have criminal penalties for a delinquent parent as well as attempts to recover the money, such as wage garnishment.
How Child Support is Calculated in Florida
In Florida, child support is calculated by taking both parents’ net incomes, their fixed child-related costs like childcare and health insurance for the children, and the amount of time each parent spends with the children to determine an appropriate amount. Once the amount of money needed to support the children is determined, the percentage of that figure comprised of each parent’s income is determined and used to calculate an appropriate child support payment. For example, if parents have a combined net monthly income of $3,000, $1,000 of which comes from Parent A and $2,000 of which comes from Parent B, Parent A is required to pay 33 percent of the figure the court deems the children need from their parents each month.
Draper Law Office Represents Parents through All Steps of the Divorce Process
For a parent, the divorce process can be particularly unsettling. It is the beginning of a new stage in your life that can seem overwhelming. Working with the right family lawyer can make the transition from married to single parent as smooth as possible for you. Contact Draper Law Office today at 866-767-4711 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team.