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Child Support Myths

Myth: My ex put me on child support, and now she’s lying about it!

Fact: While we can’t promise mom isn’t lying about anything, it is often the case that your ex has been forced to file the case against you as part of her receiving some type of governmental assistance. Whether cash assistance or even just Medicaid, the State is trying to recover its money, and your ex is required to help them. Ask your ex if she received governmental assistance, even just Medicaid is enough to involve her in this lawsuit. You’ll need to get along with her as best you can for a long time ahead, it might be best to give her the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Myth: Child support is a number decided by the judge.

Fact: Child support is not a number decided by the judge. Child support is calculated using the income of both parents. As each parents’ income goes up, so should child support. As each parents’ income goes down, so should child support. The theory is that children should live a financial life as if their parents stayed together. In good times, the kids get more, and in bad times, the kids have to tighten their belts, too. There is only a small amount of play in that child support number. Some reasons that judges will come down from that number are: you have expensive medical bills for yourself, a spouse or another child, you have an IRS lien, you have another court imposed obligation such as probation or restitution expenses. It’s important to have proof of those expenses if something like that applies to you.

Myth: If I have another child, my child support will be equalized.

Fact: If you have another child, your child support will not be equalized. The child support order with the earliest date comes first, and it cannot be lowered because you have another child afterwards, however, if your younger child has special medical needs, sometimes the court can make an adjustment to lower the first court order. As to the youngest child’s court order, it is calculated AFTER taking the child support for your first case out of your income. This means that the child support amount between your first and second families is almost never equal, the younger children receive the least.

Myth: If I quit my job, I won’t have my wages garnished anymore.

Fact: If you quit your job, your wages will be garnished at your new employer. Your new employer must register under the new hire database and report the income for your Worker’s comp and Unemployment comp insurance. That same database is used to check and see if you have a child support order. If you do, your new employer will garnish just as your old one did.

Myth: If I leave Florida, I will be home free, child support can’t find me.

Fact: If you leave Florida, you are not “home free.” Since 1998, all states talk to each other, by computer regarding child support. If you leave Florida, the child support office of your new state will stand in for the child support office of Florida, and can employ all the same enforcement mechanisms that the Florida child support office can use.

Myth: Child support can’t take my IRS refund if I filed jointly with my new spouse.

Fact: Child support can take your IRS refund if you filed jointly with your new spouse. It will be your burden to prove which portion of the IRS refund is owed to you and which is owed to your spouse. It is critically important to file a Motion to Prevent IRS Intercept in a case like this. By September, child support has already told the IRS to intercept your refund for the taxes you will file the next year. We need a lot of gain time to help you in this type of case, it’s best to call us before July for the next year.

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