I live in Florida and I have an 8 year old son. He turns 18 in 2014.
He is a "normal" child with no special conditions that need treatment,
etc. I currently pay $475.00 per month for him, which is fair. The
original divorce decree asked for $689.00 per month, but then I went
back to court and had it reduced. I just received a very large
inheritance, payable to me in $10,000 increments per month until I
turn 65 (which is 19 years away). At age 65, I can receive the balance
of the inheritance, which will be very substantial. Question: I am
concerned that the child's mother may take me to court if she learns
of my good fortune. Of course, I will take good care of my son on a
voluntary basis, but I do not want to be court-ordered to do it. What
should I do, both practically and legally ? I know I need to see an
attorney in Florida, but I want to be prepared for my visit. Please
give me a very thorough answer.
Request for Question Clarification by
20 Aug 2004 12:37 PDT
By my read of Florida Child Support law (I'm not a lawyer), there is
apparently no obligation on your part to report your changed financial
status to the authorities. Legally, it appears that you could
continue paying support at the currently-set level.
Your ex has a right at any time to request a review of your child
support arrangement (as, apparently, you had done earlier) to change
the level of support.
It seems quite likely that, once she is aware of the change in your
finances, she would ask for such a review UNLESS the two of you had
come to some independent understanding of how things will work without
involving the courts.
Your choices may well boil down to:
(1) trying to hide the fact that you're suddenly flush (which would
take away an awful lot of the pleasure of having the money in the
first place, I would guess)
(2) reaching an out-of-court arrangement with your ex
(3) waiting until she finds out, and then asks the court for a formal
change in the child support arrangement.
Beyond that, I'm not sure what advice or information we can offer you.
Are you looking for the specific language of the relevant laws in
Florida? I can provide this, but I don't think it would do a heck of
a lot of good.
Do you need to know about inheritance/estate law in anticipation of
passing along some of your good fortune to your son?
Anything else that you can tell us in terms of how we can assist you
with your situation would be most helpful.
Let me know what you think.