Effects of COVID-19 on Time Sharing and Child Support
Although most parents strive to ensure that their children are safe and well-raised, many parents disagree over the measures that are necessary to protect their children. While under normal circumstances, child custody and support disputes do not generally need to be addressed in an urgent manner, during the COVID-19 outbreak, parents may need to act swiftly to prevent irreparable harm. If you share custody of your child and wish to institute or modify a time sharing or support order, it is critical to retain an attorney who is familiar with the effects of COVID-19 on time sharing and child support. At The Law Office of Jessica Mishali, P.A., our experienced West Palm Beach family law lawyers can help you seek an outcome that is in the best interest of your child and safeguards your parental rights.Effects of COVID-19 on Time Sharing
Many co-parents throughout Florida share custody of a child pursuant to a court order. Typically, time sharing orders grant parents joint custody, which means that many children are regularly transported back and forth between each co-parent’s home. While normally custody exchanges are not a cause for concern, the COVID-19 outbreak has caused many parents who share custody to fear for the health and safety of their children, especially if one parent lives or works in an environment that poses an increased risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
Regardless of the circumstances presented, however, a parent cannot independently modify an existing court order or choose to disregard a court order without consequences. Thus, a parent who wishes to modify an existing time sharing arrangement due to concerns over COVID-19 may attempt to come to a temporary time sharing agreement with his or her co-parent, which aims to ensure that their child remains safe. It is important to reduce any agreement to writing and file it with a court to protect both parents’ rights. If the parents cannot come to an agreement, either party can seek an emergency modification from a court. A parent whose rights have been violated by his or her co-parent’s refusal to comply with the terms of a time sharing order can seek court intervention to have the order enforced.Effects of COVID-19 on Child Support
Under Florida law, child support obligations are calculated by using an income shares model, which means that the courts aim to ensure that a child receives the proportion of parental income that he or she would have received if the parents lived in the same household, taking into consideration factors such as the number of children involved. In other words, the amount of support that one parent owes the other parent is largely dependent on the incomes of both parents. Unfortunately, however, the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in the loss of many jobs throughout Florida. As a result, many parents are suddenly left with reduced financial means to support their children.
Fortunately, Florida law allows either parent to seek a modification of a child support order if there has been a substantial change in circumstances, including an increase or decrease in income. While there is no set amount of a change in income that the party seeking the modification must show, the modification must change the support obligation by at least $50 or 15%, whichever is greater.Contact a Trusted West Palm Beach Attorney
If you share custody of your child, and circumstances surrounding the pandemic have driven you to seek a modification of your time sharing order or child support obligation, you should make sure to understand the effects of COVID-19 on time sharing and child support. The family law lawyers at The Law Office of Jessica Mishali, P.A. frequently assist people in custody and support cases in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, Pembroke Pines, Davie, Coral Springs, Hollywood, Pompano Beach, Plantation, Hallandale Beach, Stuart, Hobe Sound, Indiantown, Palm City, Jensen Beach, and elsewhere in Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin Counties. You can reach us at (561) 833-2772 or via the form online to set up a meeting to discuss the effects of COVID-19 on time sharing and child support.