Myths About Child Support in Florida

Child Support spelled out with gavel on top of cashThe myths and misconceptions about child support seem to be endless. Different states have different laws regarding child support and some laws are changed over time, which adds to the confusion. That’s why it’s important to be familiar with current child support laws in our state. Below, we dispel some of the most common misconceptions surrounding child support in Florida.

Myth: No one receives child support when both parents share custody.

Fact: While there are cases when this may be true, one parent will usually be responsible for paying child support. This is because child support is determined based on income and time spent with the child. Often, even with joint custody, a child will spend more time with one parent. Child support is designed so that both parents share financial responsibility for the child. Child support in Florida is not necessary if both parents earn the same income, have 50/50 time sharing and share equal financial responsibilities for the child.

Myth: Child support payments are tax deductible.

Fact: Child support payments are not viewed as income. This means if you are the parent paying child support, these payments cannot be deducted from your taxable income. Likewise, if you’re the parent receiving child support payments, you should not include these payments as part of your income.

Myth: Child support payments may only be spent on the child.

Fact: There are many things that child support can be used for that directly or indirectly impact the child. These include things such as healthcare, housing, groceries, utilities and insurance. Additionally, the parent receiving child support in Florida is not required to give spending details to the paying parent.

Myth: Filing bankruptcy will erase child support payments.

Fact: Child support is one of the few debts that will not be discharged if you file bankruptcy. It may be possible to have back payments that have accumulated put on hold. However, once the bankruptcy is finalized, you will be required to make these payments.

Myth: If a parent doesn’t pay child support, they’ll lose custody or time with their child.

Fact: Parents who don’t pay child support in Florida may be fined or held in contempt, but they won’t lose their parental rights. Additionally, parents are not allowed to withhold time with the child if they have not received payments from the other parent.

Myth: Once a child is 18, back support can no longer be collected.

Fact: When it comes to child support payments, there is no statute of limitations. This means that these payments are still considered due and can be collected on. In some cases, a court may decide that they should be made to the adult child.

Call a Jacksonville Family Law Attorney For Answers to Your Questions about Child Support in Florida

If you’re facing a divorce or are renegotiating child support, make sure you know what’s fact and what’s a myth. The experienced family law attorneys at Parker & DuFresne can answer any questions you may have regarding child support laws in Florida and ensure your case is fair. Call us at (904) 733-7766 to learn more.

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