Child support is a financial obligation imposed by a court on a parent to provide for their children’s care, maintenance, training, and education.
COCOA, FL, UNITED STATES, May 25, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Child support in Florida is the obligation of both parents, regardless of their relationship status (single/married/divorced/). According to Florida child support law, parents are not permitted to renounce their child support responsibilities and owe a legal and moral obligation to support their minor child.
The amount of child support in Florida is determined in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines. The amount is generally determined by the parents’ income, custody (now known as time-sharing) rights, and the number of children involved in the case. In the vast majority of cases, the Florida Child Support Guidelines will be strictly enforced by the court. However, the judge has the authority to vary from the Guidelines in certain circumstances.
Learning about the Child Support processes in Florida is essential before going through a divorce or separation. Therefore, we have compiled the information you need to understand your rights and responsibilities as a parent and streamline the process of determining child support. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the Family Law aspects of child support in Florida.
Child Support: What It Entails in Florida?
Child support is a monetary sum that one parent gives to the other parent to support the child and meet their daily requirements such as clothing, food, and housing, among other things when the parents are no longer living together in the same household.
All child support payments are intended to be used solely for the benefit of the child receiving them. However, some benefits may flow to the non-paying parent in certain situations. For example, child support payments may cover the following expenses.
Basic Living Expense: Expenses for food and clothing are essential in addition to weekly grocery, budget for eating out, school lunches, and clothing purchasing on a regular basis. Having funds to pay for housing, transportation, and utilities is also included.
Educational Expenses: Tuition, clothes, books, supplies, and extracurricular activities may all be paid for in the child support in Florida, or paid in addition to basic child support.
Medical Expenses: This amount covers all out-of-pocket medical expenses that are essential to keep a child in good health and is generally shared by the parents on a pro-rata basis
Other Expenses: Ensuring a healthy and positive lifestyle entails more than just good food, education, and health. So, keep in mind to account for expenses such as summer camps, swimming lessons, and movie tickets.
Determining the Child Support Amount
Child support will almost certainly be paid even if the child spends equal time with each parent. Child support is usually provided unless both parents earn the same amount of money and have equal custody/time-sharing. Judges employ the most recent version of the Florida Child Support Guidelines to calculate child support payments in Florida (See Title VI, Chapter 61.30 of the Florida Statutes.)
For cases in which child support is at issue, parents are expected to file and exchange financial affidavits establishing their individual income and spending, as well as complete a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet before the case may proceed.
The suitable financial affidavit will be determined by the income of the parents. Form 902(b) is for parents with an annual gross income of less than $50,000, while Form 902(c) is for parents with an annual gross income of $50,000 or more. The basic child support obligation is calculated based on the number of children and the parents’ combined net incomes.
Net income is calculated by subtracting the amount of allowable deductions from gross income.
Gross Income: Most types of earned and unearned income are included in gross income. Wages, commissions, self-employment income, bonuses, spousal support, dividend or interest income, rent, workers’ compensation or unemployment insurance payments, disability, and pension or retirement benefits are all examples of common sources of income.
Allowable Deductions: Federal, state, and local income tax deductions, social security payments, union dues, certain health insurance premiums, obligatory retirement payments, Medicare costs, spousal support, and court-ordered child support payments for other children are all examples of allowable deductions.
Forms 902(b) and (c) detail exactly which items must be included in gross income and which items can be deducted in order to arrive at your individual net income, as well as how much of each item you can deduct.
Each parent’s net monthly income is divided by the combined net monthly income to determine their percentage share of the child support obligation. The actual dollar portion of each parent’s total minimum child support obligation is calculated by multiplying the minimum child support obligation by each parent’s percentage share of the combined monthly net income.
Special Scenarios: A Deeper Look at Child Support
Scenarios related to child support are not always straightforward. There are scenarios where there is shared custody and special cases where a deviation from guidelines is warranted. You can have situations where children are born later or parents that live in different states. There are cases where retroactive child support can be collected or the amount can be modified.
Child Support Enforcement
Florida has fairly rigorous child support rules to guarantee that a parent pays the proper amount of child support. When it comes to enforcing child support, a parent might employ a variety of measures. The Florida Department of Revenue or a private child support law firm may be able to assist a parent.
Family Law Attorneys Can Help
Find an experienced family law attorney with extensive experience advocating for and against child support.