It seems that every person ordered to pay or receive child support has their own interpretation of the rules and penalties that govern those payments. Here, we discuss some of the most common myths of child support in relation to Florida guidelines.
One common myth is if the parents have joint custody, neither of them have to pay child support. This is false. The goal of child support is to ensure that both parents share equally in the expenses of raising the children.
Another common misconception is that the parent will no longer have to pay support once the child reaches the age of 18. This is not always a true statement. If the child is 18 but still in high school, you may still be liable for child support payments. In addition, if the child is disabled and unable to support themselves, support may be payable for much longer than 18 years. It should also be understood that there is no statute of limitations on back child support. A receiving party may pursue unpaid support for many years after a child is grown.
Parents may also believe that if they work less or don’t work at all, they will not have to pay child support. This is also untrue. Most courts do not take kindly to able-bodied individuals who choose to remain unemployed or underemployed to avoid paying child support. As such, the court can calculate a payment amount based on previous income derived from a job where the parent worked at the level of their full skill and educational potential.
These are only a few of the many child support myths one may hear. If you are uncertain about your rights as a paying or receiving party of support payments, consult with a family law attorney to ensure that you receive the correct answers and advice to prevent future problems.