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Providing financial support

Child support is a very emotional issue in many divorce and is responsible for a great many conflicts. One of the main factors in this is when one parent feels he or she is being held responsible for an unfair portion of the financial support of the children. However, it's important to understand that the law requires that both parents provide their share of the financial support. This just plays out differently in practice depending on the individual situation.

When talking about the financial support of the children, the courts include both direct payments — such as child support payments — as well as indirect payments. These indirect payments are often the responsibility of the custodial parent and cover such things as paying the mortgage or rent, buying food and paying for child care.

It's easy for noncustodial parents to think of things like making the rent payment and keeping the utilities on as normal parts of live and not counting as supporting the children since their ex would have to maintain a residence either way. However, custodial parents would likely be able to downsize their residences and minimize bills if they were living alone.

When it comes to child support, it's often best to treat it with as positive of an attitude as you can and recognize that it is an important part of your relationship with your children. However, if you believe that there are circumstances that warrant a change in the existing child support order or a deviation from the Florida norms, a family law attorney can help you with that.

Source: The Florida Bar, "Divorce In Florida Pamphlet," accessed June 24, 2016

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