– Attorneys and Counselors at Law –

Brevard County Florida

Answers to Florida Family Law FAQs

Family Law FAQs

May 9, 2024

The following is a list of Florida Family Law FAQs clients frequently ask.  Florida Family law issues can be complicated, and of course, each individual case is unique. But we are here to help guide you through your specific situation.

If your question isn’t answered here, please call us at 321-631-0506 or emal us for a consultation.

Child Custody

As of July 1, 2023, there is a rebuttable presumption that equal timesharing is in the child’s best interest. A parent who wishes to rebut this presumption has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that equal timesharing is not in the child’s best interest. The mother and father are treated equally, and the best interest of the child guides all decisions regarding parental responsibility and timesharing. Determination of the best interests of the child is made by evaluating 20 statutory factors affecting the welfare and interests of the particular minor child and the circumstances of that family.

Child Support

The Florida Child Support Guidelines determine child support. A Guidelines Worksheet is prepared to determine the child support obligation, which is based on each parent’s income, number of children, and number of overnights with the children exercised by each parent. Additionally, child care and health care expenses can be added to the child support calculation.

Yes, becasue child support and time sharing are two separate and distinct issues. Each parent has an obligation to support their child(ren).

There is one exception, and that is if a parent disappears for a lengthy period so that the other parent cannot enjoy their time sharing rights with the child(ren). 

The courts have ruled that the noncustodial parent’s duty to pay child support may be temporarily suspended.

No matter what the circumstances, if you believe that your former spouse is interfering with your time sharing rights, the appropriate remedy is to return to court to have your rights enforced. Do not stop making support payments.

Child Support can be enforced through contempt. Additionally, you can request that the obligor’s driver’s license and/or professional license be suspended or that the obligor be incarcerated until the amount owed is paid. The Court can enter an Income Withholding Order so that child support is paid directly from the obligor’s employer.

It is difficult to fight the amount of child support ordered by the court. You must prove one of the following:

  • The other parent knowingly and willingly deceived or withheld information from the court that would have resulted in a different child support determination
  • Either parent’s circumstances have changed significantly to warrant a change in child support
  • The court ordering child support did not follow Florida State Law or did not fairly consider your circumstances in determining child support
  • Your lawyer inadequately represented your situation in court to a point of negligence.

For the first two circumstances, start by filing a Supplemental Petition for Modification of Child Support, Form 12.905(b), with the court that ordered the child support.

For the latter two circumstances, file an appeal.

In both cases, you should hire an experienced family law attorney who can represent and protect your rights.

When a parent is in arrears in paying child support, the Florida Department of Revenue will automatically charge interest on the amount in arrears, which can cause child support payments to drag on past a child’s 18th birthday, making it difficult to get a child support obligation paid off.

However, it is possible to get interest on the arrears waived to make child support payments more manageable. The Department of Revenue will waive the interest when the other parent agrees to it and there no money is owed to the state. 

In Florida a parent cannot waive thier right to receive child support. This is because Florida law states that child support is for the sole benefit of the child, not the benefit of the parent. A parent cannot waive thier child’s right to support under Florida law.

It is common for one parent to want to waive rights to child support as a trade for a desire for the child not spending as much time with the other parent. One parent may be unfit for parenting, as defined by law, or there other valid legal reasons a parent should not be made to pay child support or have limited parenting rights.

The law provides exceptions for extenuating circumstances – speak with a Florida family law attorney to find out whether the court is likely to grant an exception for your circumstances.

The parent who owns the car driven by a driving age teenager pays the car insurance.

When both parents own cars driven by the teenager, each parent must insure their respective vehicle.

If one parent has more time with the teenager, that parent is required to add the teen to their insurance policy. This expense is often included in child support computations.  Sometimes the parents agree to have the teen pay for their share of the insurance.

A separate policy can also be purchased for the teen by either parent and the expense either added to child support computations or made the responsibility of the teenager.

Prenuptial Agreements

Without a prenuptial agreement, Florida Statutes control the distribution of marital assets and liabilities, support, and all aspects of a dissolution of marriage. Prenuptial agreements are helpful if a party wants to protect assets such as premarital real estate, businesses, accounts, or investments.


The dissolution of marriage is a complicated topic. Contested divorces can take a year or longer to resolve. Uncontested divorces can be finalized in as little as a couple of weeks. It depends on the issues, whether the parties can agree, or if a trial is required. Trial dockets are very congested, so if a trial is required, it might take several months or even a year to get to trial.

A simplified dissolution of marriage is only available to couples in FLorida. They must agree to use this form of dissolution proceeding and agree on how to divide all property and debts. Both parties will be unable to examine each other as witnesses, and obtain documents pertaining to each other’s income, expenses, assets and liabilities, it is not possible for one partner to file a simplified dissolution of marriage.

Additional requirements for a simplified dissolution of marriage:

  • There must be no natural or adopted minor or dependent children
  • The mother cannot be pregnant
  • One spouse must have lived in Florida in the past six months
  • Both partners must agree the marriage is irretrievably broken, witht he desire to end the marriage because of serious permanent differences

In Florida, alimony can be granted to the husband or wife and is based on each party’s needs and ability to pay. If a divorce leaves one spouse without income or the ability to support themselves while the other spouse has sufficient income, then alimony is usually granted to the spouse unable to support themselves.

Alimony can sometimes be temporary while the receiving spouse gains financial independence.

Only property acquired during the marriage (with a few exceptions) is considered marital property subject to distribution. Generally, marital property is equally divided, with each party receiving one-half of the assets and liabilities. This can be accomplished through an equalizing payment or awarding certain assets and liabilities to each spouse.

A knowledgeable divorce attorney can help make sure that you receive all that you are entitled to in your divorce. There are many pitfalls and nuances of the law that can be successfully navigated with an experienced attorney on your side. While you may think that you cannot afford an attorney, you may find that you are paying a lot more trying to fix what happened, if it can even be fixed, than if you had retained an attorney in the first place.

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