Florida Child Support Law
A discussion about Florida child support law
Florida Child Support laws are pretty clear: If there are minor children there is child support. That is a true statement in 99% of child custody cases. The courts and the child support statutes are very clear on this issue – the parents of children must pay child support.
Child support pays for the roof over the children’s heads, electricity, water, food, and other essentials. In many cases support also pays for health insurance. The parent that has the children the majority of the time receives support and the other parent pays support.
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** Results: Non Custodial Parent = Non Majority Parent
For the most part, the amount of support is governed by the incomes of both parents, and the amount the Florida child support guidelines show. Support is also dependent on the number of overnights the children spend with each parent. Theoretically, if the parents have equal incomes and equal overnights with the children – child support would be zero. But that is not the case in most situations. Both divorce and paternity cases with children involve child support. If you have a custody or parenting case, child support is calculated the same.
Even though there are Florida child support guidelines, the calculation of support is not absolutely black and white. There are considerations for taxes, daycare, medical, and other issues that can significantly change the amount to pay or receive.
Our dedicated team of child support attorneys are available for free consultations. Call 800-469-3486 to set up a free meeting.
This online child support calculator will not work for combined incomes under $650/month or over $10,000/month. See notes below for incomes exceeding the maximum amount.
The actual child support amount is dependant on other factors which are not addressed by this basic calculation. This service is intended to give a rough estimate of child support and does not substitute for individualized legal advice. The actual child support amount you pay or receive is determined by a family law court.
FLORIDA CHILD SUPPORT CALCULATION FOR COMBINED INCOMES OVER $10,000
For combined monthly available income greater than $10,000, the obligation shall be the minimum amount of support shown on the above support calculator plus the following percentages multiplied by the amount of income over $10,000: One Child: 5%, Two Children: 7.5% , Three Children: 9.5%, Four Children: 11%, Five Children: 12%, Six Children: 12.5%
What Is Necessary for a Modification of Child Support
Whenever two parents are no longer together, chances are one parent will be ordered to pay child support to help meet the financial needs of raising the child. The parent who has less time is the most likely to pay, though the amount is calculated based on other factors, including the income of both parties. While the amount that is set is deemed sufficient at the time, there may be situations where a modification of child support becomes necessary.
Change in Income
One of the most common reasons for a child support modification is a change in income. This can come in many forms. For instance, one parent may lose a job and be without income for a substantial amount of time. Or perhaps one parent received a large raise or even a pay cut at their current job. When major income changes occur, filing for a modification may become necessary.
In some situations, the increasing expenses associated with raising a child can become grounds for a modification of child support. Cases where a parent has decided to enroll the child in expensive lessons without the other parent’s consent are not likely to be acceptable. However, if expenses increase due to a severe injury or illness or another matter beyond a parent’s control, the court may accept a modification request for this reason. Expense decreases, such as no more daycare expenses, may also be considered.
Minor changes in circumstances are unlikely to play a role in the ability to modify a child support order. Florida has instated limitations to avoid wasting time in court for minute changes. In order to qualify for a child support modification, the amount ordered must vary by at least 15 percent or $50, whichever is greater.
Raising a child is not cheap, which is why it is important for child support to be put into place to ensure both parents take on some financial responsibility. However, when circumstances change, a modification of child support may become necessary. It is important to understand when you can pursue a modification to help you make the right choice.
If you feel you meet the qualifications of a child support modification, contact us to get the process started.
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