Providing Answers And Advocacy In Child Support Matters

Regardless of how or why a marriage or relationship ends, every child deserves to receive financial support from both parents. At Merrill PA, we help parents understand their rights and obligations with regard to child support orders and payments.

In Florida, child support guidelines and amounts are defined by statute and determined by taking the following factors into account:

  • Incomes of both parents
  • Costs related to a child's education, child care and health care
  • Costs associated with providing for a child's standard needs

Obtaining And Enforcing A Child Support Order

Many child support orders stem from divorce and child custody actions. In cases where a child's mother and father were never married, legal paternity must be established before a mother can seek child support and before a father can take action to file for visitation or custody.

Legal paternity can be established voluntarily in the hospital after a child is born or when both parents sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity. In cases where paternity is in question or disputed, a court order and genetic testing may be necessary. Once legal paternity is established, a petition for child support can be filed.

We support and provide legal help to parents who are involved in paternity disputes. Additionally, if a parent fails to comply with a child support order, we can assist in taking action to enforce the order and recover the financial assistance that your child needs and deserves.

Modifying A Child Support Order

The guidelines and requirements for determining and paying child support are complex and can be confusing. What's more, the penalties associated with failing to pay on time or the correct amount can be significant and include driver's license suspension, fines and time behind bars. For parents who experience a loss of income and who are unable to comply with a child support order, it's important to take legal action to have the support amount changed.

By filing a petition to modify an existing child support order, you can avoid a disruption in child support payments and any related penalties. We can assist in filing the petition and in making the case for why the request should be granted.

To discuss your child support case, call a lawyer at our West Palm Beach office at 561-877-1111 or contact us online.