Custody & Support
The laws of the State of Florida require that parents provide adequate financial support for the care, support and safety of their children.
Contempt & Relocation
Child support is generally determined and awarded based on the parties' income and number of children. The amount of time each parent has with the children also has an impact on the amount of child support awarded. A parent who has 40 or 50 percent of overnight time with a child will generally pay less child support than the parent who has every other weekend time-sharing. A parent who does not pay child support after the entry of a court order may be subject to contempt of court and possibly incarcerated, depending on his or her ability to pay and if the refusal to pay is willful.
Many parents believe that if the other parent denies him or her contact with the child(ren), he or she has the right to withhold child support, but this philosophy is not in keeping with the law. The right to contact with children is independent of the obligation to pay child support, and the parent who prevents the other parent from having contact with the child(ren) may be subject to contempt of court.
Timesharing and shared parental responsibility have undergone major legislative changes in the past several years. In the old days, there was custody and visitation. Recently those labels were deleted and replaced with the concepts, "parenting plan" and "timesharing." There are many statutory factors that a judge must consider in determining the parenting plan and timesharing arrangement awarded to each parent. Sometimes issues arise as to whether a parent can relocate his or her residence with the child(ren).
Benjamin Cox considers the benefit to children of the utmost importance in handling such cases, and will work with you to protect their rights.
Paternity actions govern situations when the parents have children out of wedlock. Until the Court enters a Final Judgment of Paternity, the alleged father is not judicially declared to be the biological father and, as such, may not have rights to the child(ren). When the parents separate, a dispute concerning the parents’ rights and obligations may arise. A parent has the right to a paternity test if he or she is in doubt as to whether the male partner in the dispute is the biological father. Child support and timesharing are determined in paternity actions in the same manner as divorce actions.