Child support ensures that families in Florida can maintain a standard of living after a divorce. However, some continue to struggle with financial problems, which could mean filing for bankruptcy to receive a fresh financial start.
Child support laws in Florida
In the state of Florida, both parents are legally responsible for their children’s financial and emotional support. Child support payments for parents sharing custody are calculated on an income shares model by determining how much the couple would spend supporting each child if they remain married and dividing that amount based on each partner’s income.
There is another formula for deciding how much a non-custodial parent would pay for child support in Florida.
If an individual makes more than $10,000 per month, child support is determined by multiplying the money over that base amount by the number of children. For example, the lowest child support award amount is about $74 if the parent makes at least $650 per month.
Although bankruptcy wipes out most debts, child support isn’t one of them. Therefore, a parent would still have to support their children during their marriage even if they experience financial difficulties.
How does bankruptcy affect child support orders?
Although bankruptcy doesn’t change one’s obligation to pay child support, the person filing can ask courts to amend the amount they have to pay to avoid being in arrears on their obligation. In addition, payments included in Florida statutes regarding funds that are “in the nature of support” are also upheld.
These include money for medical expenses for the child and other financial obligations ordered by the family court after a divorce.
However, even if the judge does agree to amend the support payments until the parent filing for bankruptcy gets back on their feet, that parent is still obligated to maintain any court-awarded child support and in nature of support payments. Failure to do so could result in legal enforcement.
Child support and bankruptcy law can be complicated. However, the courts do whatever they can to ensure that the welfare of children is prioritized.