Termination of Child Support
Florida Statute § 61.29 outlines the three principles that establishes the State of Florida’s the public policy considerations regarding child support guidelines:
- Each parent has a fundamental obligation to support his or her minor or legally dependent child.
- The guidelines schedule is based on the parent’s combined net income estimated to have been allocated to the child as if the parents and children were living in an intact household.
- The guidelines encourage fair and efficient settlement of support issues between parents and minimizes the need for litigation.
Child support typically terminates on a child’s 18th birthday, but state law does provide for certain exceptions. Obligors (parents required to pay child support) can simply stop making child support payments to obligees (parents receiving the child support) without any additional court appearances when end dates are clearly established, but some cases may require obligors to first file Supplemental Petitions to Modify Child Support and there is also an exception for children who attend college.
Attorney for Termination of Child Support in West Palm Beach, FL
If you are hoping to terminate your child support obligation in South Florida, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel.
Quality Family Law represents clients in Royal Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, Greenacres, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, and many other surrounding communities in Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County.
Our West Palm Beach divorce lawyers can handle filing all of the required paperwork and help you with your termination of child support issue. Call (561) 557-8686 to have our attorneys review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free, no obligation consultation.
Palm Beach County Termination of Child Support Information Center
- When might an obligor have to pay child support after a child's 18th birthday?
- How does an obligor disestablish paternity and terminate a child support obligation?
- Where can I find more information about termination of child support in West Palm Beach?
Under Florida Statute § 61.13(1)(a), all child support orders and income deduction orders must provide:
- For child support to terminate on a child’s 18th birthday unless the court finds or previously found that Florida Statute § 743.07(2) applies, or is otherwise agreed to by the parties;
- A schedule, based on the record existing at the time of the order, stating the amount of the monthly child support obligation for all the minor children at the time of the order and the amount of child support that will be owed for any remaining children after one or more of the children are no longer entitled to receive child support; and
- The month, day, and year that the reduction or termination of child support becomes effective.
Florida Statute § 743.07(2) states that a court of competent jurisdiction can require "support for a dependent person beyond the age of 18 years when such dependency is because of a mental or physical incapacity which began prior to such person reaching majority or if the person is dependent in fact, is between the ages of 18 and 19, and is still in high school, performing in good faith with a reasonable expectation of graduation before the age of 19."
The phrase "mental or physical incapacity" is not clearly defined, and many courts in Florida have interpreted modest issues (such as learning disabilities or emotional conditions) to constitute children as being dependent persons entitled to support.
While 18 years of age is the clearly defined end date in many child support orders, support can extend past a child's 18th birthday if the child graduates high school after turning 18. If the child graduates after turning 19 years of age, support will end on the child's 19th birthday. When a child is not on track to graduate high school before turning 19 years of age, support ends when the child turns 18.
Relationships can often be complicated, and some men later discover that they are not, in fact, the biological fathers of the children they have been supporting.
In Florida, a man may be either a child's biological father or the child's legal father. A biological father can be confirmed by genetic testing, but a man may become a legal father by:
- Being married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth;
- Consent, under which the man and the child's mother agree that he is legally responsible for the child;
- Court order, when a court or other agency determines that the man is the child’s legal father;
- Signing an affidavit of paternity at the time of the child's birth.
The circumstances under which a man may disestablish paternity or terminate a child support obligation when he is not the biological father of the child are established under Florida Statute § 742.18.
In order to disestablish paternity or terminate a child support obligation, a man is required to file a petition in the circuit court having jurisdiction over the child support obligation, and the petition must include:
- An affidavit executed by the petitioner that newly discovered evidence relating to the paternity of the child has come to the petitioner’s knowledge since the initial paternity determination or establishment of a child support obligation;
- The results of scientific tests that are generally acceptable within the scientific community to show a probability of paternity, administered within 90 days prior to the filing of such petition, which results indicate that the male ordered to pay such child support cannot be the father of the child for whom support is required, or an affidavit executed by the petitioner stating that he did not have access to the child to have scientific testing performed prior to the filing of the petition. A male who suspects he is not the father but does not have access to the child to have scientific testing performed may file a petition requesting the court to order the child to be tested; and
- An affidavit executed by the petitioner stating that the petitioner is current on all child support payments for the child for whom relief is sought or that he has substantially complied with his child support obligation for the applicable child and that any delinquency in his child support obligation for that child arose from his inability for just cause to pay the delinquent child support when the delinquent child support became due.
Under Florida Statute § 742.18(2), a court will grant relief on a petition when it finds all of the following:
- Newly discovered evidence relating to the paternity of the child has come to the petitioner’s knowledge since the initial paternity determination or establishment of a child support obligation;
- The scientific test required in Florida Statute § 742.18(1)(b) was properly conducted;
- The male ordered to pay child support is current on all child support payments for the applicable child or that the male ordered to pay child support has substantially complied with his child support obligation for the applicable child and that any delinquency in his child support obligation for that child arose from his inability for just cause to pay the delinquent child support when the delinquent child support became due;
- The male ordered to pay child support has not adopted the child;
- The child was not conceived by artificial insemination while the male ordered to pay child support and the child’s mother were in wedlock;
- The male ordered to pay child support did not act to prevent the biological father of the child from asserting his paternal rights with respect to the child; and
- The child was younger than 18 years of age when the petition was filed.
Florida Statute § 61.13 | Support of children; parenting and time-sharing; powers of court. — View the full text of the state law governing child support in Florida. Learn more about what a court may order either or both parents who owe a duty of support to a child to pay support to the other parent or, in the case of both parents, to a third party who has custody in accordance with the child support guidelines. Rights, privileges, and obligations of persons 18 years of age or older can be found under Florida Statute § 743.07.
Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.951(A) | Petition to Disestablish Paternity and/or Terminate Child Support Obligation — View the form for men wishing to disestablish paternity or terminate child support obligations because they are not the biological fathers of children. Learn when this form should be used, important information for e-filing, and what you will need to do next. Sections of the form allow petitioners to submit newly discovered evidence or results of scientific tests.
Quality Family Law | West Palm Beach Termination of Child Support Lawyer
Are you hoping to terminate your child support obligation in South Florida? Contact Quality Family Law as soon as possible for help achieving the most favorable possible outcome to your particular situation.
Our divorce attorneys in West Palm Beach represent individuals all over Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County, including such communities as Jupiter, Wellington, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, and many others.
You can have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (561) 557-8686 or fill out an online form to receive a free initial consultation.
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