On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
It can be very frustrating when your ex-spouse fails to make child support payments in time. But Florida law along with a Fort Lauderdale child support attorney can help you get those unpaid child support payments retroactively. Here is all you need to know about retroactive child support in Florida.
Florida laws require both parents to be financially responsible for the well-being of their children. One of the parents, usually the spouse with the higher income, will be obliged to provide the other parent with child support payments in case of divorce.
Florida law requires non-custodial parents to provide financial support to the custodial parent, who is usually unable to earn a living or earn as much as the other parent. When determining the amount of child support payments, family court will take into account the financial circumstances of both parents.
What is retroactive child support and how does it work?
It is not uncommon for non-custodial parents to refuse to make child support payments or fail to make such payments in a timely manner. However, there is always a period between the moment the couple files for divorce (when no child support order is in place and the moment judge actually mandates child support payments.
The custodial parent may be able to request those unpaid child support payments for that period retroactively. When the non-custodial parent owes the custodial parent a certain amount of dollars in child support, the receiving parent may be able to seek retroactive child support through family court in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in Florida.
Our child support attorney in Fort Lauderdale at The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., says that retroactive child support stands for the unpaid amount of money available from the date the couple files for divorce (or the custodial parent becomes eligible to receive child support) and the date the child support order is finalized.
Limitations for retroactive child support in Florida
When the court order is in effect, the custodial parent will be entitled to retroactive child support. However, there are certain limitations and exceptions that must be taken into account, warns our lawyer. In order to determine the amount of unpaid retroactive child support, the court will apply the guidelines schedule in effect at the time of the hearing. The paying parent can demonstrate his or her actual income at the time of the hearing, but the failure to do so will prompt the court to determine the amount of child support for the retroactive period on its own.
Also, Florida laws require retroactive child support payments to consider the best interests of the child when obliging the non-custodial parent to pay child support for the proposed retroactive period.
Our Fort Lauderdale child support attorney also warns that Florida laws place certain limits on claiming retroactive child support in the state. There is a 24-month limit on how much retroactive child support can be received. Also, our lawyers warn that the custodial parent will most likely not be able to collect retroactive child support if the other parent is unable to pay or if there was no need for child support during the retroactive period.
After the court order is finalized, retroactive child support payments can be paid by the non-custodial parent as a one-time lump sum or in structured payments distributed over a certain period of months or years. The burden of responsibility to seek retroactive child support lies with the custodial parent.
Being represented by a Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer can help you claim retroactive child support faster and ensure that the other parent does not provide false information about his/her actual income and does not attempt to argue that you were not eligible for child support during the proposed retroactive period.