Child Support and Child Custody as Prescribed by LawIf you are considering a divorce and children are involved, the State of Florida has developed a public policy concerning the importance of both parents and guardians being involved in all aspects of their children’s lives. No longer do the courts believe it is in the child’s best interest to have only one parent making all the decisions when it comes to raising a child. Studies have shown that when both parents have continual and frequent contact with their children, even when one parent has what used to be called “Custody”, children benefit. Under Florida law, parental plans are now being developed that detail how both parents will share the responsibilities for the maintenance, care, welfare and health decisions that affect their children. Parenting Plans define the roles each parent will play and the individual responsibilities they will assume.
Florida Statute 61.13 sets forth the elements of a parenting plan. The statute outlines parental responsibilities that include time-sharing schedules, matters related to health care, school matters and daily tasks associated to the upbringing and well-being of the child. A determination will be made by evaluating all factors affecting the interests and welfare of the child, which include:
Behavior detrimental to the child
Considerations given for dividing responsibilities for the child best interests
Sole parental responsibilities
Non-limited access to records and information pertaining to the minor child
Encourages parents to act in the best interest of the child as opposed to their own desires
Considers the desirability of constant, stable environment
Geographic concerns regarding parental travel to and from the child
Continued moral fitness of the parents
Physical and mental stability of parents
Court considers the home, school and community record of the child
Reasonable preferences of the child
Parental concerns about the general well-being of the child
Demonstrate a consistent routine for the child
Open lines of parental communication and a unified front
Concerns involving domestic issues such as abuse or neglect
Division of parental responsibilities
Considerations of all aspects of the child’s life, well-being and support
Modification of a Prior Court OrderThe Family Law attorneys at Wood, Atter & Wolf are experienced in petitioning the court on behalf of a parent wanting to modify an existing child support order. The change request may involve either parent (the one receiving child support or the one paying it). The most common reason for requesting a change in the child support amount is a substantial change in income. The Florida Statute requires a “substantial change in financial circumstances” to request a modification. Based on the child support calculator, the required change must be at least 15% or $50, whichever is greater. Modification may also be supported by changes in child-related expenses such as daycare, health insurance, suspension of alimony and taxable income changes.
Procedures to modify child support depend on the jurisdiction of the court and if your case has been involved with the Florida Department of Revenue. Michael Atter and Jennifer Eringer have extensive experience in filing Supplemental Petition to Modify Child Support on behalf of either parent seeking a change.
RelocationParental relocation with a child can be a daunting and complicated procedure. Parents seeking relocation must first file a “petition to relocate” and serve or give notice to the other party. Since the court is concerned with ongoing contributions by both parents, specific reasons for the relocation and a detailed proposal revising the original parenting plan must be submitted. Objection to the relocation of a child can be filed showing factual reasons why the relocation should be denied by the court. Temporary Orders can also be granted, restraining the relocation of a minor child and if the relocation has already taken place, the court can issue an order returning the child to the non-relocating parent. Again, the court must consider all factors that are in the best interest of the child’s ongoing care. Wood, Atter & Wolf are very familiar with petitions for relocation due to the amount of military families who reside in the Northeast Florida area, and have sought legal help to secure or prohibit child relocation.Why Wood, Atter and Wolf?The well-being and consistent support of any child, fallen victim to the brake-up of a marriage, carries the court’s highest concerns. Parental relationships and responsibilities are critical for the well-being of the child. Having sound legal counsel to help negotiate agreements between divorcing parents is essential. Emotions run high when it comes to how children should be raised, especially if one parent was dominant in the care and support of the child. The attorneys at Wood, Atter & Wolf are sensitive to the needs of their clients and understand the complexities of divorce, especially when children are involved.
Our firm represents family law clients located throughout Northeast Florida including all of Duval, St. Johns, Clay and Nassau County. Michael, David and Jennifer have extensive experience with child support concerns and issues that develop in every divorce proceeding. Though the Florida Statutes set guidelines on financial support payments each minor child will receive. The court determines the child support obligation of the non-custodial parent. Sometimes, the amount of child support that is ordered can be increased or decreased in the future in light of a change in circumstances. Our attorneys are experienced in handling both the original determination of child support, and in seeking or contesting future modification of child support obligations. It is imperative to have legal counsel of an experienced attorney when facing a divorce involving children. Call us today at 904-355-8888 for an appointment to discuss your legal rights and options in any family law matter.
David Wolf is an excellent attorney. He is my FIRST call when a problem arises. He has represented me on a few matters and guided me on others. He is responsive, professional, and compassionate. If you want a down to earth attorney who will fight for your rights, David Wolf would be a good choice for you. - Karen E.
I am writing to recommend David as counsel. Our grand daughter was injured in a family daycare and during a very difficult time David provided sound advice even when we were unsure of where to turn. David is sincere in desire to help others, is thorough in his explanation of complicated issues and is personable besides. Thanks for reaching out to us, David. We will forever be appreciative. - Mary
I called Mr. Wolf to consult him about a settlement that was being offered to me due to an auto accident. He took the time to answer all my questions in a kind and honest way, so I decided to let him handle the case. I am very happy I did. He is very nice and professional, and promptly answers emails and calls. I highly recommend Mr. Wolf. - K.H.
David is well recognized in the Jacksonville community as tireless advocate for his clients. I would recommend David and his firm for those who have been injured or harmed by the carless of negligence of others. - Ben Whitman
David Wolf was able to resolve my situation quickly and efficiently. He is a professional attorney who is not only extremely knowledgeable but also kind and considerate. He took the time to assure me of the results and put my mind at ease. I would recommend him highly and would only retain him for other legal services. - Elyse
We serve the following localities: Clay County including Green Cove Springs, Lakeside, Middleburg, and Orange Park; Duval County including Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville; Nassau County including Callahan, Fernandina Beach, and Yulee; and St. Johns County including Fruit Cove, Palm Valley, Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Augustine, and St. Johns.