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Understanding Child Support Determination in Florida

Child support is a crucial aspect of ensuring the well-being of children whose parents are separated or divorced. In Florida, specific guidelines are in place to determine the amount of child support the lower earning parent receives from the higher earning parent. These guidelines are designed to be fair and to prioritize the best interests of the child. In this blog post, we’ll delve into how child support is determined in the Sunshine State.


1. Income is Key

One of the primary factors in calculating child support in Florida is the income of both parents. This includes not only regular wages but also income from other sources, such as self-employment, rental properties, bonuses, and investments. To get an accurate picture of each parent’s income, it’s essential to provide complete and accurate financial information during the child support determination process.


2. Number of Children and Time-Sharing Arrangements

The number of children involved and the time-sharing arrangements are also critical factors. Florida has specific guidelines that consider these factors when calculating child support. Generally, the more children involved, the higher the child support obligation. The time-sharing schedule also affects the calculations. Parents with more overnight visits are typically responsible for a smaller child support payment. As of July 1, 2023, the presumption as to time-sharing is 50-50/ equal timesharing between the parents.


3. Health Insurance and Childcare Costs

Child support orders in Florida may include provisions for the payment of health insurance premiums for the child. The cost of health insurance is factored into the child support calculation.


4. Deviations from Guidelines

While Florida has established guidelines for child support, there may be circumstances that warrant deviations from these guidelines. The court has the discretion to adjust the child support amount if it makes certain findings to support such a deviation.


5. Modification of Child Support Orders

Child support orders are not set in stone. If there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a substantial change in income for either parent or changes in the child’s needs, either parent can request a modification of the child support order.


6. Termination of Child Support

Child support in Florida typically continues until the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. However, if the child has special needs or a disability, child support may continue beyond these milestones.


7. Paternity Establishment

Before a child support order can be issued, paternity must be legally established if it hasn’t already been. This is a crucial step in ensuring that both parents are legally responsible for their child’s financial support.


In conclusion, child support determination in Florida revolves around factors such as income, the number of children, time-sharing arrangements, and special expenses like health insurance and childcare costs. It’s essential to provide accurate financial information and to be aware of your rights and responsibilities when it comes to child support.

Consulting with an experienced family law attorney in Florida can help you understand your options and make informed decisions based on your circumstances and goals. Contact Martha Mendez today by calling 786-636-8938 or by email: to discuss your options with respect to the child support process.

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