Lyons Snyder & Collin. Trial Attorneys.


What Are Some Commonly Asked Child Support Questions?

By Philip M. Snyder

As a divorce attorney, the most common question I am asked during an initial divorce interview (where the parties have minor children) is, “What will I owe in child support?” or “What will my spouse owe me in child support?”

Although I cannot respond to this question with a simple one sentence answer, I can answer some more specific, yet common child support related issues (over a series of articles) which will help my clients understand the factors that the Court considers when determining child support obligations.

child support questions - divorce lawyer -lyons snyder collin, plantation fl 33324

First common issue dealing with child support

Occasionally, parties want to calculate child support based gross earnings instead of net earnings.

Is Child Support based on net earnings or gross earnings

Child support is based on NET earnings.  Alimony is based on GROSS earnings.

Of note, child support is always modifiable. Alimony may or may not be modifiable depending on the agreement between the parties.

Another common issue with child support

In some cases, one spouse will choose not to work or accept a lower paying job, believing that it will affect the amount of money they (pay) or receive in child support payments.

Will the Court impute income to the underemployed or underemployed spouse?

Monthly income shall be imputed to an unemployed or underemployed spouse if the unemployment or underemployment is voluntary.

Upon a finding that the spouse is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, their earnings shall be imputed based upon recent work history, occupational qualifications and prevailing earnings in the community, if available.

Stated another way, a doctor cannot voluntarily choose to quit his/her practice to work as a high school teacher to avoid the payment of child support.  The Court would consider the doctor’s earnings based his/her recent work history, degrees (such as board certified), and the prevailing earnings for other doctors in the community.

Still have child support questions?

If you have minor children and are considering filing for divorce you should speak with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your rights.  Our divorce attorneys handle cases throughout Broward County, Okaloosa County, and St Johns County. The divorce attorneys at Lyons, Snyder & Collin offer consultations free of charge.