What Is a Father’s Obligation for Child Support in a Paternity Case?

January 16, 2019

In Florida, as in all states, both parents are required by law to support their children financially—not just fathers. This responsibility is enforced until the child turns 18 years old.

Neither party is able to waive child support—it is the child’s right to receive that support, not either custodial parent’s right. However, some of the details for child support arrangements can vary if both parties agree to those details. But even in a 50/50 time sharing arrangement for Florida parents, child support will be calculated in accordance with the state’s guidelines.

Here’s some information about child support obligations from a paternity attorney in Miami, FL.

Factors affecting child support arrangements

There is a misconception that fathers are targeted in child support cases. While it is true that fathers pay significantly more child support than mothers in the United States, this is not because the courts look more favorably on mothers than fathers.

Instead, there are a variety of other factors that Florida courts will look at to determine who will pay child support and how much. Here are just a few examples of some of those factors:

  • How many overnight visits the children have with each parent
  • Any day care expenses that need to be paid on behalf of the child
  • Costs associated with medical or dental insurance
  • Any costs incurred for medical or dental care not covered by insurance
  • Each parent’s income level

The number of overnight visits is particularly important with regard to determining child support arrangements. If you as a father have at least 20 percent of the overnight visits during the course of the year (73 or more), then the guidelines for child support are a little different, and there are different calculations that will be used, meaning there will be a reduction in your support obligation.

This is just one of several big reasons why it’s important to seek a time sharing arrangement as part of your divorce that is as close to equal as possible with the other parent. Not only is it in the child’s best interest to have a more equal relationship with each parent, but it also can spare you from a much larger child support burden than is necessary.

Of course, it’s also important to keep in mind that child support and time sharing are two different matters. If a parent paying child support fails to make some payments, that does not mean their right to time sharing will be revoked. Likewise, if one parent is preventing time sharing, that does not stop the visiting parent’s responsibility to pay child support. Each of these issues are addressed separately in court with their own sets of factors that go into making their respective arrangements.

These are just a few of the factors you need to consider when analyzing child support arrangements in Florida. To learn more about your rights as a father with regard to child support, contact a paternity attorney in Miami, FL at the Law Offices of Granoff & Kessler today.

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