Jacksonville Child Custody AttorneysChild Support and Child Custody as Prescribed by Law
If 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:
Modification of a Prior Court Order
- 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
- Parental disputes
The 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, Jennifer Eringer and Julia Hodges have extensive experience in filing Supplemental Petition to Modify Child Support on behalf of either parent seeking a change.Relocation
Parental 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, Jennifer and Julia 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.
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