I am so sorry for your son's troubles. Your son has the right to answer her complaint for divorce, either contesting the action itself (trying to prevent divorce, unlikely) or simply wanting to be heard on the issue of how much child support he will pay. Of course, if he seeks primary custody of his daughter, he may seek child support from the mother. He may also seek appropriate distribution of the marital assets, including those she took. Depending on her income, he may be seeking alimony himself, which involves many other factors.
As the father and the mother, both individuals have the legal obligation to support their child, notwithstanding the $12.36/hour. Many people make less than this but of course must support the child, who can not support herself. If appropriate child support can not be agreed upon, the Court will decide and could very well consider his overtime, as it is income he receives.
Because your son does not feel he can afford legal representation, which I completely understand because it can be frightfully expensive in a contested situation, he can represent himself pro se. He must very carefully READ everything he gets served and follow the directions to the T. I presume his main concern is the child support amount - he will likely have to pay at least what the Court guidelines indicate for his salary and 1 child. He can get a copy of these at his Family Court having jurisdiction.
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Please bear with me, I am on hold on the issue of multiple non-clarifiation questions in one post. I will let you know what I learn.
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Dear XXXXX, thank you for your patience.
Additional research confirms that yes, your son should definitely make sure it is clear to the Court that there are 2 children he will be paying Child Support for, not just your grandchild, so that the Court will not be ignorant of that very important fact.
Whether or not a step-parent can be held responsible for a step-child as it pertains to child support depends on various facts and on the state. Fortunately, FL generally does not require this unless the step-parent adopts the child.
The fact that she abandoned the house will likely not have a bearing on child support. However, the following factors should be considered as per the Child support guidelines ase set out in Florida Statutes Annotated; Chapter 61.30.: (1) extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses; (2) independent income of the child; (3) the custodial parent receiving both child support and spousal support; (4) seasonal variations in a parent's income or expenses; (5) the age of the child, taking into consideration the greater needs of older children; (6) any special needs of the family; (7) the terms of any shared parental arrangement; (8) the total assets of the parents and the child; (9) the impact of any IRS Dependency Exemption; and (10) any other reason that should be considered in order to make the child support payments equitable.
Jose, please also note that health insurance for the child and life insurance covering the life of the parent ordered to pay support may be required by the court as well.
I wish you and your son, and granddaughter, all the best as you muddle through this difficult situation.
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