areas of practice horton law group

Areas of Practice

From Estate Planning & Business Transactions To Courtroom Litigation

We possess a broad based foundation of knowledge which can be tailored to fit any individual client’s particular need. Our philosophy is that knowledge is power and communication is key. We recognize the importance of communication and the need to keep clients fully informed of significant developments in a timely manner. Our goal is to establish a long term client relationships based upon exceptional client satisfaction and confidence in our professional judgment.

Family Law Trust & Estate Guardianship Probate Business Law Landlord & Tenant Civil Litigation Appeals
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Areas of Practice

Family Law

The Horton Law Group, P.A litigates all areas of family law, including but not limited to divorce, paternity, custody, domestic violence, contempt, modification, relocation, adoption, fraud & perjury claims, and the recovery of attorney fees, and appeals.

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Areas of Practice

Trust & Estate

Life is unpredictable….You can plan for that! Everyone needs an estate plan to protect their family and assets. Contact us today to learn about our Estate Planning & Litigation services.

general civil litigation
Areas of Practice

Guardianship

Guardianship law is complex. At the Horton Law Group, we can offer you solid legal advice, stellar legal representation, and zealous advocacy throughout these proceedings.

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Areas of Practice

Probate

Probate is a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person. If you are unsure whether probate is required in your situation, please contact the Horton Law Group, P.A. to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

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Areas of Practice

Business Law

Business litigation is a relatively complex are of the law. The market is constantly changes and as such, so does the law. We are up to speed on the changes in the law and we try to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to trends in the market.

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Areas of Practice

Landlord & Tenant

At the Horton Law Group, P.A., we assist both residential and commercial landlords and tenants all throughout the State of Florida to resolve disputes under the Florida Landlord-Tenant Code.

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Areas of Practice

Civil Litigation

Skillful and aggressive litigation the cornerstone of our Practice. We take pride in our work. We think outside the box when it comes to settlement negotiations. We zealously represent our clients from the initial consultation through the trial and appeal, if necessary.

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Areas of Practice

Appeals

So, you lost at the trial court level, now what? Even if you win at the trial level, there may be parts of an order or judgment that you do not agree with, so what do you do now?

FREQUENT QUESTIONS

You've Got Questions, We've Got Answers

Here are some common questions and answers that we’ve received about the legal services we offer.

Can a parent waive child support?

No. “Child support is a right which belongs to the child. It is not a requirement imposed by one parent on the other; rather it is a dual obligation imposed on the parents by the State.” -Armour v. Allen, 377 So. 2d 798, 800 (Fla. 1st DCA 1979) citing State ex rel. Airston v. Bollinger, 88 Fla. 123, 101 So. 282, 283 (1924).

How is child support calculated?

Child support is calculated by the statutory guidelines delineated in Fla. Stat. §61.30. Income is determined on a monthly basis for each parent based on their gross income. ( Fla. Stat. §61.30(2)(a)). Net income is then determined by subtracting deductions from gross income, including but not limited to, income taxes, mandatory retirement payments, court-ordered support for other children, spousal support from a previous marriage, mandatory union dues, and federal insurance contributions. Provide a link to Fla. Stat. §61.30(3).

The parents net income is then added, and the total amount of child support due is then picked from a large chart created by the legislature which has pre-determined amounts based on income and number of children. Provide a link to Fla. Stat. §61.30(5)-(6). For example, parents whose combined monthly net income is $4900 and who have four children, must pay $2157 in combined child support.

Each parent’s percentage share of the child support need shall be determined by dividing each parent’s net monthly income by the combined net monthly income. Fla. Stat. §61.30(9). The court may deviate from the standard amounts under certain circumstances, including but not limited to: (a) extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses; (b) independent income of the child; (c) seasonal variations in one or both parents’ incomes or expenses; (d) special needs; or (e) any other adjustment that is needed to achieve an equitable result.

What is included in “Income” when calculating child support?

Gross income includes but is not limited to:

1. Salary or wages.
2. Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips, and other similar payments.
3. Business income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations, and independent contracts. “Business income” means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income.
4. Disability benefits.
5. All workers’ compensation benefits and settlements.
6. Reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation.
7. Pension, retirement, or annuity payments.
8. Social security benefits.
9. Spousal support received from a previous marriage or court ordered in the marriage before the court.
10. Interest and dividends.
11. Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce the income.
12. Income from royalties, trusts, or estates.
13. Reimbursed expenses or in kind payments to the extent that they reduce living expenses.
14. Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is nonrecurring. – Fla. Stat. §61.30(2)(a).

If I lose my job, do I still have to pay child support?

Yes. Monthly income may be imputed to an unemployed or underemployed parent if such unemployment or underemployment is found by the court to be voluntary on that parent’s part. – Fla. Stat. §61.30(2)(b). In the event of such voluntary unemployment or underemployment, the employment potential and probable earnings level of the parent shall be determined based upon his or her recent work history, occupational qualifications, and prevailing earnings level in the community if such information is available. Id. In addition, as previously stated, unemployment compensation is considered income for purposes of child support.

What do I do if my ex-spouse is not paying child support pursuant to a child support order?

You can file a Chapter 61 proceeding to enforce child support payments. Fla. Stat. §61.13. You can also seek to have the non-paying parent found in contempt of court and be sanctioned and ordered to pay attorney fees. The court can also compel the parent to pay, have the child support deducted directly from his wages or have him incarcerated until he or she “purges” the support obligation.

Can I collect back owed child support?

Yes. Child support payments that remain unpaid are a vested right of the child, and they cannot be cancelled or reduced retrospectively absent extraordinary or compelling circumstances. Provide a link to Dep’t of Revenue ex rel. King v. Blocker, 806 So. 2d 607, 610 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002).

Can I enforce a child support order if my child is over the age of 18?

Generally a parent cannot unless there are extraordinary circumstances but the adult child can enforce the child support order when they attain the age of majority. Child support terminates when the child turns 18, unless the court determines that a child is dependent within the meaning of – Section 743.07(2), which includes a child with a mental or physical incapacity, or one who is between the ages of 18 and 19 and still in high school and performing in good faith. If there are no extraordinary circumstances that exist for a parent to remove child support upon the child attaining the age of majority – the adult child can sue the non-paying parent to recover the back owed child support.

Can I be arrested if I do not pay my child support obligation?

Yes. Generally speaking, a court may hold you in civil contempt and issue a writ for bodily attachment for failure to comply with a court order, and this includes child support orders. The parent seeking enforcement must file a motion for civil contempt/enforcement and a hearing will be held on the matter. Provide a link to Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.615(b)-(c). After the court hears from both parties, the court is to enter an order granting or denying the motion for contempt. See Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.615(d). If the order grants the motion, it must contain findings that the contemnor had the present ability to pay support and willfully failed to do so, and it must contain a recital of the facts on which the findings are based. Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.615(d)(1). The court may order a sanction designed to compel compliance with the earlier support orders, including incarceration, attorneys’ fees, suit money and costs, compensatory or coercive fines, and any other coercive sanction or relief permitted by law. Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.615(d)(2). However, any such coercive sanction must be accompanied by a provision that gives the contemnor the opportunity to “purge … the contempt,” meaning to nullify or avoid it. Provide a link to Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.615(e). The court must make a finding that the contemnor has the present ability to comply with the purge provision and state the factual basis for that finding and the specify the amount of time to comply. Provide a link to Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.615(e).

Effective, Efficient & Expeditious

We know the future of our success depends on the services we provide, so we strive to provide affordable, yet excellent legal representation. We strive not only to meet, but to exceed, our clients expectations.

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