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family law Archives

Judges can deviate from Florida's child support guidelines

Raising a child to the age of majority is expensive. Initially, parents are inundated with costs for new clothes and furniture, toys, diapers and childcare, which can eat into a family's financial resources quite hardily. Then, as the child ages, other expenses can accumulate, including those related to school, not to mention the day-to-day expenses that must be dealt with until the child turns 18. Meeting these financial needs can be challenging for a couple, but it can become even more difficult or even impossible when a divorce or breakup leaves a custodial parent on the financial hook.

Child custody and the child's best interests

There are many important areas of family law. Depending on one's specific set of circumstances, certain family law issues may prove to be more pertinent. Those who are concerned about their post-divorce financial health, for example, may find that property division is of the utmost importance to them. On the other hand, in many cases where children are involved, child custody and visitation is usually thrust to the forefront. Those who want to protect the time and relationship they have with their child need to ensure that they know the law and how to use it to their advantage.

What is paternity and why is it important?

When it comes to child-related legal matters, the law often favors mothers. Unmarried mothers are assumed to have custody, and child support is often ordered to be paid to these custodial mothers. Fathers, on the other hand, typically have to be active in their pursuit to secure their legal rights. The first step in doing so is establishing paternity.

Factors considered regarding custodial parent relocation

Divorce is rarely easy. The emotional toll alone can be overwhelming, and so, too, can the financial ramifications. Yet, those who have children may see the harshest fall out from marriage dissolution. Many times, Floridians struggle to explain to their children why their parents are separating. Even though settling an initial child custody and visitation dispute can be fraught with challenges, the matter can be exacerbated by the fact that the issue can pop its head back up at almost any time post-divorce.

Legal help may be key in a custody dispute

A few weeks ago on the blog we discussed paternity and how it can relate to child custody and visitation. Child custody and visitation is based on a child's best interests. Keeping this standard in mind when addressing custody and parenting time issues is critical, as this is what a judge will be considering when making a decision. Therefore, parents who are seeking to modify custody or change visitation need to ensure that they couch their argument in terms of how the proposed change furthers the child's best interests. Any arguments that are focused on retribution or negative animosity toward the other parent will only be frowned upon by the court and may do the parent purporting the change a disservice.

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