Public Perception on Child Support

Florida parents who are going through a divorce are likely familiar with the state's guidelines on child support payment calculations. Those who think that the process is often unfair may be interested in a recently-published study that showed that many agree.

The study participants included a group of prospective jurors in Arizona as well as a random group of people in Britain. The researchers asked respondents questions about hypothetical child support cases. In cases where the noncustodial parent made less than the custodial parent, the respondents said that they would lower the amount the noncustodial parent owes by $100 on average. Some respondents said that the amount should be lowered by as much as $300 in that scenario.

Many respondents also said that the amount of support paid by the noncustodial parent should change if the custodial parent remarries. While this may appear to be an equitable result, a stepparent is not in most cases legally responsible to support a stepchild. The concept of "fairness" is often subjective, as it has been pointed out that in many cases, the parent who is ordered to pay support believes that the amount is too high while the recipient thinks that it is not enough.

While the Florida child support guidelines take into account the income of both parents when establishing the amount of support that is to be ordered, many states only look at the circumstances of the noncustodial parent. There are times when the parent who has been ordered to pay support becomes unable to meet those obligations due to an unforeseen change in financial circumstances. In such event, a family law attorney might assist in the preparation and submission to the court of a motion to modify the order.

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  • Mikaela Nix
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    Mikaela Nix is an Orlando attorney with experience handling Family Law (emphasis on Fathers’ rights). Her aggressive and diligent representation has proven invaluable in making sure her clients know without a doubt that the lawyer advocating for them is committed to advancing their interests.
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