Child Support in Florida
Child support is governed by Florida statutes. The Court may order either or both parents to pay support as per Florida’s Child Support guidelines. Both parents have an obligation of support for their minor or legally dependent children. Assuming no other contingencies or ongoing dependency, the obligation for child support ends when a child turns 18. Child support is a right which belongs to the child and parents cannot contract away or waive the child’s right to support.
What are the Child Support Guidelines?
Florida Statutes Chapter 61.30 states the guidelines the court will use to determine the amount of child support to be paid. Computation is based on the net incomes of both parties. While precise calculation should always be made by using the proper child support guidelines worksheet, a rough guideline for of the minimum amount of child support is:
1 child – 22% of payor’s net income
2 children – 32 % of net income
3 children – 41% of net income
Other factors are included in the guideline calculation of a parent’s child support obligation in a family law or divorce case. For example the children’s health insurance costs, child care costs (like daycare), are included in the calculation. The number (or overall percentage) of overnight stays can also affect the determined amount.
Modification or Change from Child Support Guidelines
The Court is permitted to adjust the award outside the minimum guidelines or adjust a parent’s share if there are extraordinary medical, psychological, or dental expenses. Private schooling may be ordered where the court finds the parties have the ability to pay the expenses and it is in line with the parties’ customary standard of living. The court may also adjust the minimum amount due to special needs of the child. Other adjustments such as visitation transportation expenses may also be considered.
If necessary to protect an award of support, when special circumstances are present, the court may order the paying spouse to purchase life insurance to secure the award.
If there has been a provable and significant change in circumstances after the final judgment, either party may seek to have the court modify the child support level.
Todd C. Passman, P.A. handles Family Law cases serving Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Stuart, and Okeechobee, Florida, and surrounding areas. Family law cases include divorce, child custody issues, visitation, spousal support, child adoption, petitions for modifications of orders, and pre and post nuptial agreements.
Tell us about your problem. We can help.
If you need a lawyer for a family law matter, including divorce, child custody issues, visitation, spousal support, child adoption, petitions for modifications of orders, and pre and post nuptial agreements please contact Todd C. Passman today, at (772) 465-9806 or fill out the contact form on this page. Someone from our office will contact you right away.