COVID-19 UPDATE: We are open! Our team is working remotely and offering consultations via phone, e-mail, and video conferencing.

Child Support

The Florida legislature has given the courts the authority to order one party to pay child support to the other party for the support and maintenance of their minor children. Florida has well established guidelines for child support and the amount that you will be ordered to pay follows a basic formula. The first main factor the court will look at when determining child support is the time sharing schedule of each parent. If the parent paying child support has over 20% of the total overnights in a given year, then the child support begins to slowly reduce. The general rule is, the more overnight time sharing a parent has, the less child support that parent will pay.

The second factor the court looks at is the income of both parents. If one parent is unemployed, the court will often impute income to that parent. The court will take the total net income of both parents and determine the child support number from there. The parents are allowed to deduct taxes and health insurance from their gross income.

The parent who pays for day care expenses and health insurance for the minor children will also get a credit on their child support for those payments. The total child support number is typically awarded on a monthly basis. But, the court has the discretion to award the payments to be made pursuant to the parents pay schedule. So for example, if you are paid every two weeks, the child support amount will be prorated so that you do not have to pay a large sum at the first of each month.

If one party requests that the other parents income be garnished, the court must honor that request. It is very typical for an Income Withholding Order be entered that directs a parents employer to take the child support directly from that parents pay check. There are many different issues surrounding child support and the calculation can sometimes be complicated. If you have a child support questions, contact your expert family law attorney today to discuss your question further.