Temporary Child Support

Florida family law courts have the power to provide temporary relief at an early stage in a case. One parent can request that the court enter a temporary child support order.  Before a temporary relief hearing, courts often require parents to go through mediation. If the parents cannot come to an agreement during mediation, the case proceeds to a temporary relief hearing, where a judge decides.

In addition to temporary child support, temporary relief can include stipulating which parent keeps possession of the home and other parenting provisions. Divorce often resolves disputes regarding property valuation, property dissolution, child custody and visitation, child support, and alimony. Although some parents agree on these matters, many disagree on at least one aspect of the divorce, and disagreements can lengthen the divorce process.

In Florida, divorces can take weeks to months to be finalized. Since divorce can be a lengthy process, temporary relief clarifies the parents' responsibilities before the divorce is finalized. During the divorce, parties can ask the court to modify temporary relief orders as needs change.

Without temporary relief, parents would have to wait until the conclusion of the divorce to receive court-ordered financial support. Lack of support and clear parental obligations during the divorce could hurt children. Courts might not grant temporary relief automatically. Rather, parents must petition the court for relief. A family law attorney can help parents get temporary relief from the court.

Florida Temporary Child Support Attorney

If you are petitioning for temporary child support or temporary relief, reach out to Bacchus Law Firm today. Our family law attorneys are committed to making sure the process goes as smoothly as possible and guiding you every step of the way. Issues that arise from divorces and child support disputes can lead to confusion and stress, but we are here to help you navigate the family law process from start to finish. 

Call (954) 500-5555 to set up a free consultation with Bacchus Law Firm today. We accept cases in Broward County, and in the surrounding areas of Palm Beach County, Collier County, Miami-Dade County, and Hendry County, Florida.

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Florida Temporary Child Support Orders

During the divorce process in Florida, the court may issue a temporary child support order, which outlines parental responsibilities to provide for children's needs during a divorce. A temporary child support order is finite, covering a discrete time. In other words, it has an end date, and another child support order is necessary to provide additional support.

Once the divorce is finalized, a permanent child support order can replace the temporary order. To change the order, one of the spouses can file a motion with the court. The terms of the subsequent, permanent child support order may differ from the stipulations of the temporary order.

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Petitioning The Court For A Temporary Child Support Order

An individual can ask the court to award temporary child support when filing an initial petition for dissolution of marriage in Florida. In Florida, courts must support the best interests of children. Since temporary child support can be crucial to maintaining a child's quality of life, Florida family law courts are generally receptive to temporary child support petitions; they are inclined to order temporary child support.

When a parent believes that they will take care of the children during a divorce proceeding, that parent should ask the court to order the other parent to pay temporary child support during the divorce process as soon as possible. The sooner the parent asks the court for the temporary child support order, the sooner the children could receive financial support from the other parent.

It is true that retroactive child support—child support that repays a parent for past childcare expenses—is available in Florida. However, a temporary child support order ensures that the parent who takes care of a child during the divorce process receives financial support promptly.

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Ex Parte Hearings For Temporary Child Support

A parent can ask the court for ex parte temporary relief during a divorce. In an ex parte hearing, the other spouse does not have to be present in the court. Ex parte hearings are necessary when the family faces a genuine emergency, and there would be serious irreparable harm if the court does not grant the relief. Generally, Florida courts order ex parte relief when a child is in danger or there is a domestic violence issue.

  • A Florida family law judge might order ex parte temporary child support when the child faces severe financial hardship without parental support.
  • If a child has a severe medical condition requiring support, the judge might grant an ex parte temporary child support order.
  • If the custodial parent cannot afford to feed the child without the other parent's financial support, a Florida family law court might grant a temporary child support order without the other parent present.
  • Abuse by the noncustodial parent might also result in an ex parte temporary child support order.
  • If the custodial parent cannot afford to keep a home for the child without support, the family law court might award temporary child support or alimony (spousal support).

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Petition For Temporary Custody

A Florida family law court can award one parent temporary custody in addition to granting an order for temporary child support. Florida Statutes allow a court to grant temporary custody to one parent while a divorce proceeding is pending.

After a parent petitions the court for temporary custody, the family law court holds a hearing to determine whether awarding temporary custody to one of the parents is appropriate. At the hearing, the court evaluates the evidence concerning a minor child's need for care by the parent as well as all other matters required to be outlined in the petition—including temporary child support—and the objections or other testimony of the other parent, if the other parent is present at the hearing.

The law states that the court must award custody to the parent who requests temporary custody if it is in the child's best interests and the other parent does not object. If the hearing is ex parte, the judge will likely grant temporary custody because the other parent does not have the opportunity to object. If the other parent objects to the petition for temporary custody, Section 751.05(3)(b) states how the court should proceed.

The court may grant the petition for temporary custody if it finds—by clear and convincing evidence—that the other parent is unfit to take care of the child. Florida law has a high standard to determine whether a parent is unfit—the parent must have abused, abandoned, or neglected the child. Mere disagreements about parenting might not be enough to receive temporary custody if the other parent objects.

The court might grant the temporary custody order if the other parent has abused, neglected, or abandoned the child or does not object to temporary custody. A temporary custody order can also grant visitation rights to the noncustodial parent, per Section 751.05(4)(b).

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Additional Resources

Motion for Temporary Support, Time Sharing, and Other Relief with Dependent or Minor Children— An individual petitioning for divorce, responding to divorce, or requesting temporary child support can use this form to ask the court for a temporary child support order. One of the spouses must have already filed the petition for dissolution of marriage with the court or filed a petition regarding temporary child support.

In addition to temporary child support, the motion also covers temporary use of assets, temporary exclusive use of the marital home, temporary responsibility for liabilities and debts, temporary spousal support or alimony, temporary time-sharing schedule with minor children, and other relief. Individuals may file this form with the clerk of the circuit court in the county that has jurisdiction over their legal proceedings. Although individuals can file a motion for temporary support pro se—in other words, on their own, a family law attorney can help people obtain temporary child support for their children.

Florida Department of Revenue- How to Apply for Child Support Services—The Florida Department of Revenue explains how individuals can apply for child support. The Department of Revenue also explains cash and food assistance and Medicaid that provides child support assistance. Additionally, people seeking child support may contact the Florida Department of Revenue's Child Support program for information about obtaining child support in Florida, including temporary child support. After individuals apply for child support services, the Child Support Program can provide additional information and assistance to parents.

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Florida Temporary Child Support Lawyer | Broward County, FL

If you are pursuing temporary child support in Broward County, FL, contact Bacchus Law Firm. Our Florida family law attorneys will work hard defend your rights. With our years of experience in family law, we can develop a strategy to pursue your child support goals and protect your child’s best interest. Our lawyers will eliminate any bias by providing fair legal representation and proposing an agreement that is reasonable for all parties.

Bacchus Law Firm serves clients in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, LaBelle, or East Naples, Florida. Do not wait to seek legal assistance. Call (954) 500-5555 to arrange a free consultation with Bacchus Law Firm today.

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