Posts

Do Fathers Ordered to Pay Child Support Have Custody Rights?

I see it all the time.  A mother requests state welfare benefits, and the Florida Department of Revenue inquires as to whether the mother is receiving child support from her child’s father.  The answer is no, and the Department of Revenue then initiates an administrative action to get the father to financially support his child.

Sometimes, the father admits that he is the child’s parent, and other times paternity is established through genetic testing, but the ultimate result is that the father is ordered to pay child support.

So, then, since he is paying support, does the father automatically get custody rights?

Though a mother should encourage a loving and continuing relationship between her child and the child’s father, the father does not automatically get custody rights.

However, the father can establish those rights.

Read more

Disparaging The Other Parent Hurts Your Child And Your Florida Child Custody Case

Rosalind Sedacca, a divorce and parenting coach and author, writes about why parents should not bash one another in front of their children:

When you put down their other parent, your children are likely to interpret it as a put-down of part of them. When both parents are guilty of this behavior, it can create a great confusion along with a sense of unworthiness and low self-esteem. “Something’s wrong with me” becomes the child’s unconscious belief.

***

Read more

Steps for Paying Florida Child Support Online – One Time Payments

The folks at the Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court have made a pamphlet available explaining how to make one time child support payments online.  Below you will find the steps:

  1. Go to www.myfloridacounty.com;
  2. Click on “Pay Child Support & View Payment History;”
  3. Click “Pay Child Support Online;”
  4. On the “Add Case” screen, enter the Case Number to which the payment is being applied.  If making payments on multiple cases, each case should be added before proceeding to the next screen.  You have two options to enter the Case Number:  Read more

Prenuptial Agreements: Uniform Premarital Agreement Act

No matter the reason that parties enter into a prenuptial agreement, there are certain issues that may be agreed upon and other issues that Florida public policy prohibit parties from agreeing on prior to marriage.

For example, a clause in a prenuptial agreement defining a visitation or time-sharing schedule with respect to the parties’ unborn children would not be enforceable.  This is because a time-sharing schedule must be based on the best interests of a child, and it is difficult to define and anticipate those best interests before the child is born.  Similarly, a prenuptial agreement may not restrict a child’s right to financial support.

So, what may be agreed upon in a prenuptial agreement?  Section 61.079 of the Florida Statutes, known as the “Uniform Premarital Agreement Act,” specifically states that the following may be settled in a prenuptial agreement:

1. The rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located;

2. The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;

Read more

Pew Report Observes Non-Resident Fathers

A recent report conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Social and Demographics Trends project makes some interesting findings:

  • “Absent” or “non-resident” fathers are defined as those that do no live with their children;
  • The number of children not living with their father has doubled from 1960 to 2010;
  • Four in ten non-resident fathers communicate with their children several times a week, while one in five spend time with their children more than once a week;
  • One in three non-resident fathers report that they talk or exchange e-mail with their children less than once a month; and
  • Twenty-seven percent of absent fathers say they have not seen the children at all in the past year.

In Florida, generally speaking, each parent has a right to spend time with his or her children, and each parent has a responsibility to contribute financially to the child’s support.  If there is a court order pertaining to child custody, these rights and responsibilities can usually be enforced by contempt.

If you have questions regarding paternity or child custody and you wish to speak with a Florida family law lawyer, contact The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., by calling us at (813) 443-0615 or filling out our online form.

Family Law News: U.S. Congressman in Court over Back Child Support

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that U.S. Representative Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) will be in a family court because he has failed to pay ordered child support.  His former wife claims that the congressman is in arrears of $117,000.00, including interest, for the parties’ three children.  The Sun-Times also reports that Representative Walsh admits not paying the ordered child support, but did so based on an agreement with his former wife:

Walsh said he had a “verbal agreement” with his ex-wife allowing him to stop paying child support because his income had fallen, hers had gone up, and the children were living with him as much as with her.

[Ms. Laura Walsh’s attorney] Coladarci said [Rep.] Walsh should have gone to court to modify the judge’s order regarding child support if he felt he couldn’t afford the payments because the court order is an obligation to the couple’s children, not to his ex-wife.

Read more

Calculating Child Support: Net Income

In a previous post, I provided a list of items which would be considered gross income for child support or alimony purposes.  Florida law does allow some deductions to that gross amount prior to calculating a child support obligation.  These deductions include the following: Read more

Who has the Right to File a Paternity Suit?

Paternity is essentially the legal recognition that a man is the father of a child.  Establishment of paternity brings with it various rights and responsibilities, including (i) the right to establish a time-sharing (visitation) schedule for the father, (ii) the responsibility of the father to provide the child with financial support, and (iii) the right of the child to inherit from the father.

As stated in section 742.011 of the Florida Statutes, the following people may bring a paternity suit in Florida:

Read more

What is Considered “Income” for Alimony and Child Support Purposes?

In a Florida family law case that involves a claim for alimony or child support, one of the most important preliminary considerations is how much income each party has.  In child support cases, each party’s income gets plugged into a formula that tells us what the law presumes is the correct amount of child support.  In alimony cases, the income of each party is important to help determine whether one spouse has the need for support and the other spouse has the ability to pay support.

You should keep in mind that the term “income” in family law cases is defined differently than how the term is used in the Federal Tax Code or in other situations.  Section 61.046, Florida Statutes (2011), defines “income” for family law purposes as follows:

Read more

Video: Basic Allowance for Housing

The following video from the Defense Management Travel Office describes Basic Allowance for Housing, or B.A.H.:

Servicemembers should know that Florida courts take B.A.H. into consideration when determining issues of child support and alimony.  B.A.H. may even be taken into account for matters of spousal support unconnected with dissolution of marriage (such as when a military spouse is not being financially supported yet does not want to initiate a divorce).

If you have questions regarding military issues affecting your family and you wish to speak with a Florida family law attorney, you may schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., by calling us at (813) 443-0615 or filling out our contact form.