Florida parents may sometimes wonder about child support rules in Florida and how those rules might impact them. Parents may wonder how child support is calculated.
In Florida, child support guidelines are provided by the Florida legislature to determine the amount of support divorcing parents should each contribute to their children. The income for both divorcing spouses must be determined. The two incomes are then added and are divided by the number of children that was born to, or adopted by, the couple. Child support amounts are then determined based on the percentage of the total income each spouse earns. Alimony paid by one spouse to the other can also impact the calculation of income and child support.
In some circumstances, if one parent is unemployed or underemployed, the court can impute income to that spouse subject to certain considerations. Other considerations may also factor into the calculation of child support such as payment of health insurance for the child and the cost of day care. Unique circumstances can also impact the calculation such as private school, luxuries or the special needs of a child.
In general, child support is calculated based on a child support formula which takes into account the child’s financial needs (which can include education, day care, insurance and any special needs); the income and needs of the custodial parent; the income and ability to pay of the parent paying child support; and the child’s standard of living pre- and post-divorce.
Parents with questions about child support and what to expect may wish to seek the advice of a trained family law attorney. A family law attorney can provide parents with the knowledge of what to expect and aid with the determination of monthly child support payments to help put a parent more at ease.
Source: The Boca Raton Tribune, “Child Support Guidelines,” Michael H. Gora, Oct. 8, 2013