Child Support in Florida
Children are a major financial responsibility and getting divorced doesn’t change your obligations to them. In Florida, both parents are required to support any minor children regardless of who has the majority of timesharing with the children.
Child support is usually paid until children turn 18 or when they graduate high school, whichever comes later. Children with developmental disabilities can have child support eligibility extended past the usual maximum age of 19 to maintain the level of care they require.
The Interstate Family Support Act is a United States federal law designed to prevent confusion and multiple states claiming jurisdiction of child support by allowing the child’s home state to establish, modify and enforce support orders.
Calculating Child Support
The amount of financial support you will be required to pay is calculated based on rules and regulations set forth by the Florida Child Support Guidelines in Florida Statute Section 61.30. The courts will look at a variety of factors that can play a role in determining the monetary child support obligation for each parent.
The two main factors that determine your financial obligation are the net income of both parents and number of children in the family. Both of these components then help form an income guideline schedule that ultimately determines a baseline for how much child support will be needed.
There are some expenses that may be deducted when determining a child support calculation such as taxes, health insurance for children, and any employment-related daycare costs. Another factor that can affect the amount to be paid by either parent is the number of overnight stays the children have with each parent as outlined in the parenting plan. The more time a parent spends with a child, the lower the amount of child support that parent is required to pay.
Payment and Allocation of Support
It is both a state and federal law that the responsible party makes his or her child support payments on time and in full. In Florida, it’s relatively easy to submit a payment via the online payment portal. Parents who fail to fulfill their financial duty may have their Florida driver’s license suspended, liens placed on personal property, and/or have their wages garnished.
The goal of child support in Florida is to provide your children with the same financial security they had before the dissolution of the marriage. By requiring both parents to pay, the state expects parents to carry an equal share of the financial responsibility. This method encourages parents to use child support for appropriate child related expenses like clothing, medical expenses and education.
Here at LaFrance Law we can help you navigate the intricacies of child support regulations in Florida. Fill out the form in the sidebar to the right or give us a call to find out how we can help you.