Orlando Child Support Lawyer

Panella Law Firm accepts cases throughout Florida

Children are expensive to raise, especially in these times of rapid inflation. For many single parents, collecting child support is a major issue, even though it is a court-ordered obligation. According to the Florida child support law 39.01, every parent, regardless of whether married, divorced, or single, has a responsibility to provide for their child’s care, maintenance, training, and education.

If the case involves a divorce, a child support payment plan must be approved by a Florida family court as part of the divorce process and before a final divorce decree is entered. Both parents are required to support the children, and the parent without primary custody is generally the one who is required to make their payments to the parent with primary custody. Payment amounts and the length of time payments must be made are based on Florida’s child support laws.  Unfortunately, even though child support is required by law, problems arise, child support may be in arrears, and many parents struggle to meet basic expenses that a child needs to grow and thrive.

If your child’s other parent has not been paying required child support, you do not have to fight alone to get what is owed to you. Legal help is available from an experienced Orlando child support lawyer who knows family courts and the system, as well as the tactics some parents use to avoid paying. At the Panella Law Firm, our Family court lawyers know that the courts want to protect the well-being of children and are fully prepared to make the laws work in your favor to pursue a parent who is not paying what he or she is supposed to.

When you have us on your side, we will investigate your individual situation and find legal means to get support payments for your children. We take the burden off you and handle all necessary paperwork, negotiations, and court appearances to fight for the child support you and your children deserve.

Our Child Support Lawyer Can Help You

Why Choose Us

There are many attorneys in Orlando, and it’s important for you to find one that you feel comfortable with, who also has the experience necessary to handle complicated child support cases. Here are some reasons why we think Panella Law is your best choice:

  • We are experienced and committed to defending the rights of those who are being unfairly treated. Attorney Michael Panella served as an Assistant Public Defender and then a defense lawyer, so he knows the courts and the system from both sides. Associate attorney Huda Saleh focuses her practice on family law matters.
  • We are recognized in our fields. Among the many awards we’ve won are:
    • The 2017-2020 Client Choice Award
    • Super Lawyers 2019–2022
    • Attorney Michael Panella has a perfect 10.0 Avvo rating and was named by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the 40 under 40 in the legal profession.
  • We get results, have a long record of success, and have many satisfied clients. You can read their testimonials to prove it.
  • We are assertive and aggressive in working for our clients and provide free consultations to find the best way to handle your case.

How Our Orlando Child Support Attorney Works for You

When you have our Panella Law team on your side, we will start working for you immediately. We will:

  • Meet with you to discuss your individual child support situation and understand your priorities
  • Find and explain relevant Florida case law and existing statues that may work in your favor, support your arguments, and help achieve your desired outcome
  • Craft convincing arguments to get the judge to enforce already-existing orders for child support and look for new arguments for additional or increased financial support, if appropriate
  • Investigate to determine whether the other parent is reporting income fairly
  • Be there for you during court hearings and any negotiations with opposing counsel for a fair resolution of child support issues
  • File legal briefs on your behalf and argue in front of a judge if necessary.

We can help if you need to:

  • Seek initial child support
  • Make sure that your child support obligation is fairly calculated
  • Modify an existing child support award
  • Enforce cases of non-payment of child support
  • Deal with penalties for late payment and failure to pay support.

How Are Child Support Payments Established?

In Florida, the amount of child support is based on Florida Child Support Guidelines. In most instances, these are strictly enforced, although a judge can deviate from the Guidelines in some circumstances.

The parents’ respective incomes are important factors when calculating child support awards. Child support amounts are set according to the ability of each parent to pay and their earning potential. Income is determined by calculating:

  • Wages, salary, and overtime
  • Bonuses, commissions and tips
  • Disability, Social Security, and workers’ compensation benefits
  • Spousal support from a prior marriage
  • Retirement and investment income
  • Business income from trusts and estates.

Other factors used in calculating child support are:

  • The cost of child care for employment purposes
  • The parents’ time-sharing schedule
  • Health insurance, including medical, dental and vision insurance
  • The standard needs of the children.

A list of support amounts based on the child’s age and net income of the parents can be found  in the Florida standard needs table.

In most cases, child support continues until the child turns 18. Courts can also award extended support for children with physical or mental disabilities and children who are still in high school through age 19.

If there are multiple children, the court order will specify the amount and end date for support for each individual child. If there are issues with calculating child support, such as if the other parent is hiding income, you may need to go to court.

Orlando Child Support Lawyers Answer FAQs

When dealing with child support issues, you are likely to have questions and concerns.  These are best answered at your initial consultation, but to get started, here are some answers to questions our child support lawyers are often asked:

What is a “parent who owes support”?

A parent who owes support is the parent who does not live with the child and is ordered to provide support. Florida law states that every child under the age of 18 has the right to the support of both parents, including the parent who owes support.

How is paternity established for child support?

Paternity must be established when a child is born to parents who are not married. The alleged father may voluntarily admit that he is the father of the child, but if he does not do so, a court hearing and/or paternity test is scheduled. When a paternity test is necessary, the child’s mother, the alleged father, and the child are tested.

How can I modify the amount of child support?

Established support orders may be modified if there is a significant change in your financial situation or that of the parent who owes support. If you request a modification, the amount will be recalculated based upon guidelines set by Florida law. Modification petitions are normally filed with the court only if the guidelines show the amount should change by at least 15% or $50 monthly, whichever is greater.

Is support reduced if the child spends a lot of time with the parent who pays child support?

Yes, if the child spends 20 percent or more of the overnights with the parent who is ordered to pay child support, the support amount should be reduced, under section 61.30(11) of the Florida Statutes.

When you have the Panella Law Firm working for you, we will be there to address all your questions and concerns throughout the entire legal process.

Get Help from Our Orlando Child Support Lawyers

One of the most difficult situations a parent can deal with is when the other parent fails to pay child support, especially since it is the child who ultimately suffers.

If you are having problems with any child support issues, the family law attorneys at the Panella Law Firm have extensive experience in divorce and family law litigation. As a skilled divorce attorney in Orlando, we are not afraid to fight aggressively in court regarding the non-payment of child support so that your child does not have to suffer because of the irresponsibility or bad behavior of the other parent.

Our experienced legal team can help enforce your rights and make sure that you receive a fair child support award. We provide legal advice for all matters related to child support, including child support enforcement, modifying child support, and child custody. Let us take care of your family situation, so you can focus on your children, your parental responsibilities, and moving forward with your life.

Delaying can only make your situation worse, so call us today to get started working toward receiving the child support you are entitled to.

Call us today to discuss your case at 407-233-1822.

Attorney Mike Panella

For Mike Panella, the concept of zealous advocacy developed at an early age – fueled by what he perceived to be an unjust resolution in a personal family legal matter. Mr. Panella would later attribute his passion to defend the rights of those who stand accused to those inequities in the legal system he observed, and considered unjust. Before opening Panella Law Firm, Mr. Panella served as an Assistant Public Defender for Florida’s 18th Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office and worked hundreds of cases in both Brevard and Seminole Counties. Mr. Panella was undefeated at trial. [ Attorney Bio ]

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