Generally, the Florida courts rely on statutory guidelines when determining what constitutes appropriate child support. Parties are permitted to develop their own support agreements, though, which the courts will generally ratify as long as they are in the best interest of the child receiving support. Parties that develop their own child support agreement may face difficulties if they subsequently want to modify the terms of the agreement, however, as shown by a recent Florida ruling in which the court rejected that mother’s assertion that the trial court erred in approving the agreement. If you have questions about your rights with regard to child support, it is wise to consult a Miami child support attorney as soon as possible.
Factual and Procedural History of the Case
It is alleged that the mother and father had two minor children together. Subsequent to a paternity action and mediation, they agreed to the court’s entry of a consent final judgment of paternity and relief. In part, the judgment established the father’s paternity as well as his child support obligation, as well as the parties’ incomes and financial health. Additionally, the child support calculations included a future increase in the mother’s income due to an increase in her work hours and a relative reduction in the father’s child support payments.
Reportedly, the judgment included a signed consent that ratified the parties’ settlement language and stated in part that they voluntarily and freely agreed to be bound by the agreement. Seven months after the court entered the judgment, the mother moved to set it aside, arguing that the trial court erred in imputing income to her and noting that her employer did not increase her work hours as contemplated. The trial court denied her motion, and she appealed. Continue reading ›