Child support is a much-disputed aspect of many divorces and co-parenting situations. Typically, courts examine the child's needs and the income of each parent. Parents are expected to share equally in the caretaking and expenses of the child, and the support determination is meant to reflect that.
In some situations, however, one parent earns significantly more income than the other parent. The courts expect that children should be able to reap the benefits of the good fortune of both parents, and there are ways that the courts make those additional resources available for the advantage of the child.
Florida Courts Typically Follow the Income Shares Model of Child Support
There are a number of ways that states determine child support, but Florida follows what is known as the income shares model. This model is based on the idea that a child should still receive the same proportion of his parents' income that he would have had the parents stayed together. It is assumed that in a married household income is lumped together and used for the good of the family in that way. So, the income shares model adds together the income of both parents, determines the amount necessary to support the child, and divides that amount between the parents based on what percentage of the income each contributes.
A Good Fortune Trust Protects the Financial Interest of the Child
Historically, Florida courts have struggled to with how to address child support when one parent earns a significant amount of money. Using the income shares model with high-income parents typically results in support payments that the courts deem excessive. So, for these wealthy parents, the standard model of child support may not be appropriate. As a result, the good fortune trust was developed.
How a Good Fortune Trust Is Established in Florida
First, the courts determine child support payments based on the current guidelines. Next, they determine the needs of the child. The difference between the payment based on the guidelines and the payment amount for the day-to-day life of the child is placed in a good fortune trust for the child to use when he becomes an adult. This allows the child to reap the benefits of the wealth of his parents, as only he can use the funds from the trust.
High Profile Cases
Good fortune trust cases can attract the attention of the community and media. When popular rapper Flo Rida was taken to court for over child support in Florida, the story made national news. In that case, the ultimate settlement was arranged privately. These and other high-profile family matters can be difficult. During an already trying and emotional time, families deserve to have the space and time they need, assured of both confidence and confidentiality.
At Martinez-Scanziani & Jimenez Law, our dedicated attorneys understand the significant impact a divorce can have on a family, especially when high income or high profile parents are involved. Our legal team is here to provide the guidance, support, and privacy your family deserves. Call our Miami office today to learn more about how we may be able to help.