Can a Father Get Child Support in Florida?
One of the biggest myths about child support in Florida is that dads are the only ones who have to pay. In reality, the law is neutral—either parent may be entitled to receive (or ordered to pay) child support from their former partner. In this article, our Tampa child support attorney highlights the most important things fathers need to know about their right to seek support in Florida.
Fathers are Entitled to Equal Rights: Child Support is Gender Neutral
As a father, it is important to understand that you have a right to seek child custody, child visitation, and child support. Under U.S. law, both mothers and fathers are entitled to equal protection. In the late 1970s, the Supreme Court struck down an Alabama state statute that barred men from receiving alimony (Orr v. Orr). In doing so, the court clarified that family laws must be gender neutral. State statutes cannot openly favor mothers or fathers.
In Florida, child support must be addressed in a gender neutral manner. Of course, the real world is more complicated and old stereotypes still matter. The United States Census Bureau reports that men pay around 86 percent of child support and women pay the remaining 14 percent. Still, there is nothing to stop a father who has primary physical custody of his children from seeking (and getting) child support.
How to Get Child Support: An Agreement, Administrative Order, or Court Order
Even when you know your family law rights, navigating the legal process can be challenging. If you are a Florida father, you may be wondering: How do I actually go about getting child support? The answer depends entirely on the specific circumstances of your case. When possible, the most effective way for parents to resolve their child support issues is often through an agreement. If your former partner is willing to settle the matter, working towards a fair child support agreement may be your best option.
Unfortunately, it is not possible for custodial parents to reach a child support agreement in every case. If your former partner refuses to negotiate in good faith or cooperate at all, you still have options available. In Florida, you may be able to obtain child support through an administrative order or a court order. If you are having trouble getting support, professional support is available. An experienced Tampa, FL child support attorney can help you take action to get access to the financial support that you and your children are entitled to under the law.
Speak to Our Tampa, FL Child Support Lawyers Today
At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., our Florida family attorneys have extensive experience handling child support claims. If you are a father who is seeking child support, we are here to help. To schedule a strictly confidential assessment of your case, please contact our Tampa office today. We represent fathers throughout Hillsborough County, including in Riverview, Brandon, Town ‘n’ Country, Plant City, Temple Terrace, Carrollwood, and Mango.