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Yes, Florida has wide latitude to enforce child support orders, and the state can suspend your driver’s license if you fall more than $500 behind on your obligation.

Even worse, bureaucratic confusion can result in inappropriate enforcement actions, because people may write a check directly to the other parent, or pay child support in cash increments as they are paid for work.

If you have been notified that a suspension is pending, contact an experienced Family Law attorney right away who can help you navigate a confusing system and establish a history of payments that may not have registered with Sarasota’s Child Support Enforcement agency.

Failure to act can lead to even more serious consequences, including jail time. Fight back now.

Call Melinda Delpech at (941) 308-7042 right away and talk to a Sarasota-based child support attorney for free.


Child support in Florida is based primarily on two things; One, the amount of time each parent spends with the child, as calculated from the time sharing arrangement in the Parenting Plan you and the other parent agreed to. And two, the income levels of the parents.

While support payments are not based on gender, it is very common for parents in Sarasota to decide that the child’s mother will provide for the primary housing needs and so forth, while the father houses the child less of the time.

This often leads to the appearance of a presumption that dads alone will have to pay, but it isn’t really true.

Child support calculations are complex in Florida, but the main facts used to develop a payment plan are the number of overnights the child spends with each parent.

As each parent’s duties with the child approach the 50-50% mark, child support expectations diminish to reflect the fact that the parents are maintaining two homes for the child.

Your gender is less important in child support calculations than you may think. Your role as a parent to your child is the primary factor in determining how best to support your child.

Call Melinda Delpech at (941) 308-7042 today for a free consultation with a Sarasota child support and custody attorney.


No, not only do courts in Florida not have preferences based on the gender of each parent, but the modern Florida court system doesn’t even use the term “custody” when determining, based on the best interests of the child, which parent will manage the day-to-day care of the child.

Instead, divorcing families work within a “Shared Parental Responsibility” framework, and are required to develop a parenting plan that clearly outlines the roles of each parent, how much time the child or children will spend with each, how they will be transported to and from each parent’s residence, and more.

Divorce doesn’t mean the end of your relationship with your children, and Florida’s laws offer robust support for parents who want to remain engaged and active with their kids.

Get the agreement you want by calling Melinda Delpech at (941) 308-7042 today for a free consultation with a Sarasota family law attorney.


When you have a significant reason to move from Florida, a supportive former spouse can make it considerably easier when you have kids you share.

Whether for family matters, a new job or promotion, or whatever it is that takes you away from your former home, it’s important that you work together to develop a new parenting framework from which to work.

When your spouse supports the move, you’ll be required to develop a new parenting and time sharing agreement for your kids, including transportation plans for how they’ll get to and from each parent.

Modifications can take many forms, and the plans can be as detailed as you want them to be. Once completed, you’ll submit the new plans to the court for approval, and if no changes are requested by the other parent after 10 days, it will carry the weight of any court order.

As with any legal matter, working with an experienced attorney can help ensure that all forms are in order and your interests, and those of your children, are represented.

Call Melinda Delpech today at (941) 308-7042 for a free consultation.


If you are moving to another location in Florida that is more than 50 miles away from your current residence, there are several steps you need to make in advance of the relocation.

First, you should consult your former spouse and anyone else included in your time sharing agreement.

If those parties approve of the move, then you’ll only have to draft a new parenting agreement and ask the court to ratify it.

If your former spouse isn’t willing to do that, you should work with an experienced Family Law attorney to petition the court for permission to relocate.

Your former spouse will receive a copy of the petition and have an opportunity to respond. If they object, you’ll be required to participate in a hearing where you’ll both make your case.

You can relocate to a new city with your kids, even without your former spouse’s permission.

Call Sarasota Family Law attorney Melinda Delpech today at (941) 308-7042 for a free consultation.


Yes, for stay-at-home parents, spouses who work part time or at a lower wage, and those who’ve made sacrifices in their own education or careers on behalf of a higher earning spouse, you can expect that alimony will be awarded in order to help you establish yourself independently and move on with your life. However, the amount of alimony awarded is significantly influenced by the length of the marriage.

Florida law allows for several forms of alimony, usually ordered for a set period of time in order to allow the lower-earning spouse to complete a degree, move back into the workforce, or change jobs within it.

You may also be awarded alimony for a certain length of time, either for a set duration or on a permanent basis.

Courts weigh a variety of factors in determining alimony, including the length of the marriage, the standard of living that the marriage achieved, the health of each spouse, the earning capacity and educational attainment of each, and more.

Alimony is an important part of the final settlement agreement in Florida divorces, and an experienced divorce and family law attorney can help you get the best deal in a divorce.

Call attorney Melinda Delpech at (941) 308-7042 for a free consultation with a Sarasota divorce lawyer.


Does Florida Have No-Fault Divorce?

Yes, Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that neither spouse has to prove culpability on the part of the other.

To divorce in Florida, one spouse merely needs to assert “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage. Most couples will need to develop written agreements regarding the distribution of marital property, alimony, a parenting agreement, child support, and more.

Parents should be aware that recent legal reforms in Florida have moved the state away from the idea of a “custodial” and “non-custodial” parent model.

Instead, Florida now asks divorcing parents to create a Parenting Plan Agreement that will address the roles and responsibilities of co-parenting and plan an effective time sharing formula for parents and children.

Working with an experienced divorce attorney can smooth the way for a calm, property negotiated divorce settlement.

Call Melinda Delpech at (941) 308-7042 to talk to a Sarasota divorce lawyer for free.


Do I Have To Hire A Lawyer For A Divorce?

No, Florida does not require that you or your spouse hire attorneys to represent you in your divorce.

If you and your spouse can reach terms that are fair and protect your interests, you can file on your own.

This is especially true for couples who haven’t been married long, aren’t high earners, and don’t have a lot of assets.

On the other hand, if you have a significant financial stake in a home, automobiles, retirement plans, and expectations about your children attending college, hiring an experienced divorce attorney can ensure that you get your fair share of the marriage’s assets and that you walk away in a favorable financial position.

To ensure that you and your children have the resources you’ll need to live the life you want, call attorney Melinda Delpech at (941) 308-7042 and talk to a Sarasota divorce attorney for free.


The terms “contested” and “uncontested” have nothing to do with whether your spouse approves of your plan to file for divorce.

As a no-fault state, Florida doesn’t require evidence of misconduct or infidelity in order to grant a divorce. A person only needs to assert their desire to not be party to the marriage anymore.

Rather, uncontested divorces are those where the terms of the divorce – alimony, parenting and child support issues, and the division of marital property – have been worked out between the parties.

While negotiating these issues between yourselves can be difficult, the advantage of making the effort can save you both thousands of dollars in legal fees.

In contested divorce actions, the matters relevant to the divorce can’t be worked out between the spouses, and ultimately require the intervention of a judge to resolve.

These can be costly in financial terms, but also in less tangible ways. Contested divorces can be emotionally exhausting and time consuming for both parties.

Whether you divorce is contested or uncontested, an experienced attorney can help ensure that your rights and interests are reflected in your divorce settlement.

Call Melinda Delpech at (941) 308-7042 for experienced legal counsel in Sarasota.


Timesharing in Florida is the equivalent of the term “visitation” in other states.

While much of the country continues to talk about custodial and non-custodial parents, Florida has moved away from the idea that one parent has custody and the other doesn’t; instead, one parent will typically have a majority time-share with the child or children.

The amount of each parent’s time-share can impact the child support payments due by the parent with the lower time-share.

When the child or children spend 40% or more of their time with the lower time-share parent, the support obligation will generally be reduced to reflect the nearly equal responsibilities being shouldered.

There are a number of ways to provide for your children that can reduce the cash expense of child support.

To learn how to give your kids everything they deserve while protecting your bottom line, call attorney Melinda Delpech at (941) 308-7042 for a free consultation.