Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law
At The Gufford Law Firm, P.A., we welcome the opportunity to answer questions from clients and potential clients, such as those below.
Once a court issues a child support order, can the amount of support that is paid be changed?
Yes. A parent may ask the family law court to modify a support order if there have been substantial, permanent and involuntary changes in circumstances. For example, that parent may have lost their job due to a life-changing injury. Other reasons might include a change in the amount of time a child spends with each parent and/or a significant change in the differences in income each parent brings in. To be considered, the modification should change the amount of child support by at least 15% or $50 per month (or 10% or $25 if more than three years have passed since the initial order).
How does a court decide if a parent may relocate with a child?
In all child custody cases in Florida, the best interest of the child is the underlying justification for any order or modification. If a parent seeks to relocate with the child, they must demonstrate that the move will be in the child’s best interest, among other factors. If the other parent does not agree and the court is not convinced, timesharing could be impacted if the first parent proceeds with the move.
How is child support collected if the person responsible for paying moves to another state?
The process of collection may become more complicated, but a parent may still seek enforcement help from the Florida Department of Revenue. Through the terms of The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, this agency and Florida courts may enforce child support collections when one parent is out of state.
Very often, The Gufford Law Firm will establish the amount owed and then work with private counsel in the other state to establish the Florida Order and enforce the same. This is typically the best method as many of our clients have negative results when depending upon multiple state agencies to do their bidding. Other methods of enforcement that often yield results are drivers’ licenses, passports and professional license suspension(s).
Can I ask the court to terminate my alimony if my ex lives with someone else who supports them?
Yes, but you will need to prove to the court that your ex-spouse is cohabiting or engaged in a supportive relationship with a new partner. You will likely need legal counsel to win your case.
What terms should be included in a separation agreement?
Florida does not recognize legal separation, but separating spouses may pursue legal protections through private agreements, petitions for support or postnuptial agreements. Child support and/or spousal support (alimony) may be specified in such petitions. For personalized advice applicable to your situation, contact a trusted family law attorney.
What are parents’ obligations to their children?
In Florida, as is true elsewhere, parents are expected to provide their children with food, clothing, shelter, and basic care. A parent who fails to do so may be considered to be neglecting their child(ren). When parents are separated or divorced, custody and support orders may delineate which parent is responsible for a child or children at specific times, and how much financial support one parent may need to pay the other.