Child Support Attorney
St. Petersburg Family Law
- Florida child support guidelines
- Parents’ Rights
- Shared parenting plan
- Evidence of paternity
- Genetic testing
Expert divorce lawyers representing you in child support cases in St. Petersburg and Pinellas County, Florida
Your children’s financial well-being should not be compromised because of your divorce. The Child Support Attorney at the St. Petersburg law firm of WIlliam B. Bennett, P.A. has more than 25 years of experience negotiating and litigating equitable support arrangements that protect your children’s health, home, education and future.
Our firm can put your family in the best position possible during your divorce. We can also help you with enforcement issues if the other parent refuses to abide by your divorce judgment and with modification of an existing child support order if your circumstances have changed.
We strategize the most beneficial allocation of other resources for your family’s financial protection — including your retirement funds, marital home and St. Petersburg assets.
Divorce lawyers advising you about Florida child support guidelines
Both parents share the obligations of raising healthy, happy children. The courts rely on the Florida child support guidelines to calculate the total amount and your portion of financial obligations to your children. Calculations are based on individual circumstances — including your income, your contribution to your children’s health and childcare expenses, any instances of child abuse and the percentage of time the children spend with you.
A family law child support attorney begins by determining the likely outcome should a court decide the issue of child support payments. We then discuss other personal considerations that may alter the statutory amount. A child’s special needs, private school education or treatment for a medical condition, for example, may require additional funding and time commitments. After discussing your goals for your family, we devise a strategy for obtaining a fair distribution of responsibilities.
Consult our child custody attorney at William B. Bennett Law, P.A. in St. Petersburg about your child’s right to financial support
Learn more about the equitable distribution of child support responsibilities after your divorce. Call St. Petersburg family law firm William B. Bennett, P.A. at (727) 821-8000 or contact us online.
St. Petersburg Child Custody Attorney
Handling child custody and timesharing in Clearwater and Pinellas County, Florida
St. Petersburg family law attorney William B. Bennett, P.A. assertively advocates for the well-being of children. Throughout our more than 25 years of experience, William B Bennett, P.A. has witnessed the positive results of successful timesharing plans and have made children a priority as a practicing child custody attorney.
To develop an effective plan, our team consults with you about your parenting goals and your children’s needs. We thoroughly advise you of your options and the potential outcomes of the various legal approaches to finalizing a parenting plan. We then formulate a comprehensive divorce strategy that incorporates the best child custody and visitation arrangements for your children.
Best interests of the child
The court determines who gains primary custody — or if a joint custody arrangement is appropriate — based on the children’s best interests. Important considerations include:
- Your and your spouse’s fitness as parents
- Anticipated division of parental responsibilities
- History of behavior that demonstrates your commitment to your children’s upbringing
- Stability of your home environment
- Continuity in the children’s home, school and community
Judges in St. Petersburg give equal weight to fathers’ and mothers’ rights, and they focus on creating the most beneficial situation for the children. In some cases, grandparents’ rights are considered by the courts.
Courts encourage involvement with both parents except when the contact is detrimental to the children. The court may restrict the rights of one parent if it finds:
- A history of domestic violence
- Abuse of drugs or alcohol
- Mental illness
- An unsafe or unhealthy home environment
As a child custody attorney, William B. Bennett, P.A., can help you protect your family if the other parent poses a threat to your children. We may seek restricted or supervised visitation by the other parent in some circumstances. When appropriate, we initiate dependency proceedings or file for a domestic violence injunction.
Consult St. Petersburg divorce attorney, William B. Bennett, P.A. about divorce mediation and timesharing arrangements
Learn more about creating a timesharing arrangement that supports your children after divorce. Call St. Petersburg family law firm William B. Bennett, P.A. at (727) 821-8000 or contact us online.
St. Petersburg Parents’ Rights Attorney
Maximizing shared parenting time in Clearwater and Pinellas County
Divorce should not affect your children’s sense of stability, security and confidence. Encouraging the well-being of your children during the upheaval of divorce is a primary focus of St. Petersburg family law firm William B. Bennett P.A. During our more than 25 years of experience, our lawyers have refined our methods for maximizing your shared parenting time and promoting the most beneficial arrangements for your children.
Focusing on children in divorce
Every family is different and so are your needs, objectives and options. Our client-centered approach gives us the flexibility and creativity to formulate the best solutions for your family. Issues we discuss with you include the long-term consequences of shared custody plans on your children’s:
- Sports participation
- Involvement with siblings and extended family
- Extracurricular activities
- Spiritual and moral upbringing
- Vacations and travel opportunities
- Access to friends
- Medical needs
- Employment and volunteer opportunities
Drafting a successful shared parenting plan
Mediation often offers an effective tool for parents to agree on a parenting plan. Parents structure the most sensible schedules and may develop a sense of cooperation that benefits their children after divorce. We draft a parenting plan that describes your arrangement, including:
- How you plan to share daily childrearing tasks
- A time-sharing schedule that specifies each parent’s time with the children
- Allocation of responsibilities for healthcare, education, extracurricular and other activities
- Methods of communication between parents and children
» Read more on the Florida laws surrounding shared custody
When the other parent refuses to participate, we aggressively argue at trial for your right to raise your children. Our St. Petersburg child support lawyers also hold your spouse accountable for the financial obligations of raising your children.
Learn more about maximizing parenting time from Pinellas County divorce lawyers
Consult the attorneys who put children first. Call St. Petersburg family law firm William B. Bennett, P.A. at (727) 821-8000 or contact us online.
St. Petersburg Paternity Attorneys
Prove or disprove a father’s biological relationship
Fatherhood comes with many important benefits and responsibilities. Evidence of paternity gives a father the opportunity to reunite with his children and protects his visitation and childrearing rights. Proof of paternity also allows children to receive full advantages from both parents — including child support, inheritance, public benefits and insurance. On the other hand, negative paternity test results can help a man avoid lifetime financial liability to a child who is not his.
With more than 25 years of experience, the family law attorneys at St. Petersburg firm William B. Bennett, P. A. guide parents through paternity issues. We advise both men and women about their legal options for proving or disproving paternity.
Legal presumption of fatherhood
A man is legally presumed to be the father of a child if:
- The child was born or conceived while he was married to the mother
- He legitimized the child through marriage to the mother
- He adopted the child
- Court proceedings established that he is the father
- An administrative order was issued based on genetic testing
- The father and mother officially acknowledged paternity
We review individual circumstances to determine whether parents have a legal basis for claiming paternity and the best means for establishing fatherhood.
Genetic testing produces reliable scientific proof of paternity. The Florida Department of Revenue administers and regulates DNA testing. Parents may not need to go to court, but can instead seek an administrative order directly from the agency. If one party refuses to cooperate, however, we ask a court to intervene and order the DNA testing.
Florida putative father registry
The Florida putative father registry provides a means for asserting paternity by an unmarried biological father. The system administered by the Florida Department of Health protects a father’s rights if the mother places their child up for adoption or if she enters dependency proceedings.
Find out more about proving and disproving paternity from experienced Pinellas County family law attorneys
Call St. Petersburg family law firm William B. Bennett, P. A. at 727.821.8000 or contact us online for more information about methods of establishing paternity.
St. Petersburg Family Law Attorneys Demanding Enforcement of Orders
Pursue the child support payments to which you are entitled
Your children rely upon the financial support of their parents. One parent’s failure to obey the child support orders issued by the court can result in extreme hardships to your family. With more than 25 years of experience, our divorce attorneys can help you get the financial support to which you are entitled.
Getting the other parent to pay
Both parents share the responsibility of raising their children. When the other parent refuses to abide by the financial liability imposed by the divorce order, you can seek help from the courts. We work closely with the Florida Department of Revenue and the family law system to force compliance. Some tactics we may use in your case include:
- Requesting that a family law judge order compliance
- Asking the court to issue an arrest warrant for the noncomplying parent
- Seeking suspension of the parent’s Florida driver’s license
- Pursuing the parent’s IRS tax refunds
- Demanding payments made to the parent from unemployment or workers compensation
- Garnishing wages directly from the parent’s paycheck
- Obtaining liens on the delinquent parent’s real estate, cars or boats
- Reporting past-due amounts to the credit agencies
- Placing a hold on the delinquent parent’s bank accounts
You must abide by a family court order
You must follow the child support orders issued by the family law courts even if you think the decision is unfair. You do have recourse, however, if changed circumstances hinder your ability to pay your child support. We can help you file for a modification of your order to reduce child support payments.
Find out from experienced Pinellas County divorce lawyers what you can do to enforce your divorce orders
Call the St. Petersburg family law firm of William B. Bennett, P. A. at (727) 821-8000 or contact us online to demand that the other party abide by the orders issued by the court.