We have a little known system called Administrative Child Support in Florida. You need to know how this system works.
It all starts with many people receiving a Notice of Commencement. If you receive a Notice of Administrative Child Support, then you have 20 days in which to notify the Department of Revenue that you want the Department to proceed in Circuit Court. This is often required in writing by mail, or in person. The problem I have seen in several cases is that people do not receive the notice until days later, leaving that person much less than 20 days. An objection cannot be faxed, and cannot be emailed to the Department. This puts the burden on the prospective parent to act quickly.
The timelines for an Administrative Child Support case are quick!
Anyone who receives notice to submit to a paternity test must contest the order within 15 days. If the Department elects to move forward with their case, then you may ask for a hearing. This will be an administrative hearing unless you have filed an action in circuit court.
Failing to submit to genetic testing can lead to sanctions unless you show good cause. Financial affidavits are sent to the parents, with a request to fill out the forms and return them. If the testing is positive, the Department issues a proposed paternity order. You will have 20 days in which to request a hearing. Again, it must be mailed or otherwise hand delivered.
Child support is calculated using the Florida Child Support guidelines. This is a formula the Legislature has devised using suggestions from professionals who work in family law. The primary criteria are income, the number of children involved, and the number of overnights each parent has. Daycare and health insurance are also important. However, there are limits with these kind of cases. Time-sharing is not addressed. Neither are many other items, such as alimony.
These topics are more closely addressed in our blog articles and videos.