In many divorces, or even with the separation of parents who were never legally married, the court will establish an initial amount of child custody. In Jacksonville, FL, as in the rest of the state and the country, this is a mathematical formula that is based on the income, the number of children before the court as well as other expenses such as health care, taxes, daycare and other considerations.
In Florida, unlike some other states, it is not just the income of one parent that is considered, but rather the income of both parents. The court uses a table that compares the income, less the factors such as who is paying for healthcare, daycare, and taxes, and then sets the child custody amount.
Hiring a child custody attorney will become important for the parents when special considerations need to be made for the best interests of the child—whether it’s with the parent with the majority of parenting time, or the parent with less parenting time.
Keep in mind, child custody is for the financial needs of the child and is not the same as alimony or spousal support. This is also possible in Jacksonville, FL, but it is not related to child support in any way.
Special Needs Children
In many cases, even with one parent paying for healthcare for the child or children, a child custody attorney will be required when special needs may be a factor for the kids.
Children with special needs may require special accommodations for education, additional medical services, rehabilitation and therapy, modifications to their home environment and even special accommodations for vehicles to transport the children.
To make sure the court understands the short and long-term needs of the child or children, a child custody attorney will be essential. These attorneys can argue the need to exceed the guidelines to the court to ensure the children can be cared for and receive the support and treatment they need throughout their life.