May 2012 Archives

May 28, 2012

Retroactive child support

Child support awards are always subject to modification. There are a multitude of reasons which would justify a modification, such as a loss in employment, change of custody, increase in income, etc.

The question which often arises is when does the modification, if granted, commence. The case of Webber v Webber, 56 So.3d 822 (Fla. 5th DCA 2011) makes it clear that the modification is effective, retroactive back to the date of filing the petition for modification, and not retroactive to the circumstances which give rise to the modification.

The point to note here is that if you are entitled to a modification, file your petition right away and don't delay!

May 28, 2012

Unreimbursed medical expenses

Unreimbursed medical expenses for minor children is an issue that arises in every divorce case involving children. The question to be addressed is which parent pays for these expenses.

It seemed that for a very long time the unwritten rule was that each parent is responsible for these kind of expenses on an equal, 50-50 basis.

That is no longer the case. The proper standard to be applied today is based upon the parties same percentages which are utilized for child support calculations.

"Absent some logically established rationale in the final judgment to the contrary, collateral child support expenses must be allocated in the same percentage as the child support allocation."

The ruling can be found in the case of Zinovoy v. Zinovoy, 50 So.3d 763 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011).

May 28, 2012

The importance of filing a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet

Calculating the proper amount of child support requires more than simply ascertaining the appropriate net monthly incomes of the parties. A Child Support Guidelines Worksheet must be filed in the particular proceeding. There is no discretion with the court in this regard. Failure to file the worksheet is reversible error.

This mandate is found in Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.285(j). ('If the case involves child support, the parties shall file with the court at or prior to a hearing to establish or modify child support a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet...This requirement cannot be waived by the parties").

This requirement was further set forth in the case of Palewsky v. Dept. of Revenue, 61 So.3d 1227 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2011).