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How Child Support Guidelines Affect Florida Parents

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Child Support on Thursday, September 25, 2014.

The area of the law identified as family law is concerned with important family-related interests such as child support. Child support in Florida is calculated based on child support guidelines. Child support guidelines help determine the amount of financial support a child needs and what a non-custodial parent has to pay. One of the goals of Florida's child support guidelines is to ensure that child support agreements are fair. When determining child support, the court will consider the income of both parents, health care and child care costs for the child, and the standard needs of the child (the age of the child can be a factor).

Once child support has been calculated, a child support order is put in place that is enforceable against the paying parent. The parent receiving child support, usually the custodial parent, will be able to enforce the support agreement with the help of the government. The child support guidelines are used to initially determine child support and if a child support modification is requested by one of the parents to change the amount of child support.

In some circumstances, child support may be established at an amount higher or lower than the amounts noted in the guidelines. For instance, a child's high medical costs may be taken into consideration when determining the amount of support required for the child. The judge will normally note why the child support amount varies from the guideline amounts.

Both parents are, of course, expected to provide for the needs of their children. This includes providing for basic food, shelter, clothing, health care costs and everyday expenses. The child support legal system, and legal resources available to both paying and collecting parents, is designed to benefit and further the welfare of the child. It may be helpful for parents to be familiar with child support guidelines to better understand what to expect of the family law process.

Source: Florida Department of Revenue, "Child support amounts," accessed Sept. 22, 2014

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