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Yes, it is Possible Not to Pay Child Support in Florida

For some people, complaining about money is a hobby, and some even elevate it to the status of a high art. While they might get a kick out of grousing about the prices of items on restaurant menus or in the supermarket, it is understood that they ultimately have a choice about which items they buy. What really ruffles people’s feathers are fees that they are legally required to pay.  Even generally cheerful people grumble about taxes and parking tickets. Child support is another financial obligation that people often feel is imposed on them against their will. It is not hard to find divorced parents who, given the opportunity, will go on at length about how much better their financial situation would be if they did not have to pay child support. Even people who would never complain out loud might secretly wish that there were a way to be legally exempt from paying child support. In fact, there are several ways, but most of them involve circumstances you would not wish for yourself.

The Child Support That Most People Have to Pay

Florida has standard child support guidelines. The main criteria determining how much you must pay are your net income and the number of children you must support. Judges usually follow the child support guidelines closely. In fact, when a judge orders a child support amount that differs from the amount determined by the guidelines by more than 5%, the judge must file a written statement explaining why he or she decided on this new amount.

Exceptions to the Standard Child Support Guidelines in Florida

The most common reason that a court allows a parent to stop paying child support on a child is that the child becomes a legal adult. This usually happens on the child’s 18th birthday, but it can happen sooner if the child becomes legally emancipated as a teenager. If the parent’s parental rights are terminated, the parent can also stop paying earlier. A common reason for termination of parental rights is that another adult adopts the child. For example, if the mother remarries and the stepfather legally adopts the children, the biological father no longer has to pay child support, but he also no longer has a legal right to a relationship with the children.

Courts can terminate support agreements for reasons other than termination of parental rights. If one parent dies or is sentenced to a prison term, the judge can terminate the support agreement.  In the case of incarceration, judges do not always terminate the agreement; sometimes courts impute income to the incarcerated parent, who must resume paying child support upon his or her release.

Finally, you can be exempt from paying child support if you and your ex-spouse agree in writing that the support is not needed.  This usually happens when the parent who spends more time with the children has a higher income than the non-custodial parent.

Contact Alan Burton About Child Support Cases

To stop child support payments completely, the circumstances have to be quite extreme.  Modifying child support orders, however, is more common. Contact Alan R. Burton in Boca Raton, Florida for help with your child support case.