In simple terms, child support means the contributions for the costs associated with raising a child that come from both parents, allocated between the parents based upon their respective incomes. The amount prescribed by the Florida Child Support Guidelines varies based upon several factors, including the parties’ respective incomes and their timesharing schedule with the minor children. The legal requirements for child support seek to ensure that children have their needs met, including adequate nutrition, clothing, health care, and education.
In the early 2000s almost half the marriages in the United States ended in divorce. Because of this fact, and the additional statistic of nearly a quarter of children being born to unmarried parents, child support presents a substantial legal consideration. Sometimes such support comes voluntarily from a parent. However, often the state family court system determines whether or not the child requires additional financial aid and in what amount.
About Jeff Weissman:
An attorney board-certified in marital and family law, Jeff Weissman brings nearly two decades of legal experience to his partnership in the Florida firm, Gladstone & Weissman, P.A. He focuses on issues related to divorce, domestic violence, paternity, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and child custody and support.
All too common in the middle of contested divorce proceedings, Parental Alienation Syndrome is the attempt of one spouse to alienate the couple’s children from the other parent, effectively destroying all emotional bonds. This alienation is encouraged by parents in several ways:
• The alienating parent talks negatively about his or her spouse directly to the children, saying things such as, “Mom/Dad left because he/she doesn’t care about us.”
• The alienating parent talks about the failure of the marriage and puts all the blame on the other parent.
• The alienating parent blames the other spouse for all the current hardships the family is experiencing.
• In severe cases, the alienating parent makes accusations of sexual, emotional, or physical abuse against the other parent.
Regardless of how the alienating parent attempts to turn the children against his or her spouse, the children realize that in order to win the love of the alienating parent, they must turn against the targeted parent. The consequences of Parental Alienation Syndrome are severe, resulting in children feeling estranged from one parent and guilty about this estrangement. The long-term consequences may negatively impact self-esteem levels and general outlook on life, as well as foster dysfunctional relationships.
Part 2 of this article is about how to protect children from Parental Alienation Syndrome.
About the author: Jeff Weissman is an attorney with Gladstone & Weissman, P.A., a firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is board certified in marital and family law.