Meeting a Child’s Financial Needs
If you are currently going through a divorce or separation, it is likely that one of your top concerns is how much child support you will have to pay each month. Child support payments can be very expensive, and if they are not calculated correctly, can cause serious financial hardship for the paying parent.
In the state of Florida, child support is calculated using a specific formula. This formula takes into account both parents' incomes and other factors such as childcare costs and health insurance premiums. Keep reading to walk through the steps of calculating child support in Florida as well as learn some of the factors that are taken into account when determining how much child support should be paid.
Calculating Child Support
The child support formula in Florida is used to calculate the amount of money that the non-custodial parent will have to pay each month for child support. In Florida, both parents are obligated to support their minor children. How much child support that a parent will have to pay is based on their income, the number of overnight visits they have with the child, and other factors.
The first step in calculating child support in Florida is to determine each parent's gross income. This includes all forms of income, such as wages, tips, commissions, self-employment income, interest and dividends, alimony from a previous marriage, and more. Once each parent's gross income has been determined, any mandatory deductions are subtracted. These deductions can include things like taxes, Social Security, and health insurance premiums.
After the gross income has been determined and the mandatory deductions have been subtracted, each parent's net income is then calculated. Next, calculate each parent's child support obligation using the Florida Child Support Guidelines. The guidelines take into account the number of overnight visits each parent has with the child and factors such as whether either parent has custody of another child from a previous relationship.
Once the guideline calculation has been completed, the final step is to determine which parent will pay for certain expenses related to the child, such as daycare or healthcare costs. The parent who pays for these expenses will then be required to include them in their child support payment.
Modifying Child Support
If you are a custodial parent in the state of Florida, you have the right to petition the court and request a modification of your child support payments. The first step is to calculate how much you should be paying based on your income and the number of children you have. The Florida child support formula takes into account both parents' incomes, as well as other factors such as healthcare costs and daycare expenses.
Once you have an idea of how much you should be paying, you can then file a petition with the court to have your child support payments modified. The court will consider both parents' incomes and make a determination based on what is in the best interests of the child. If you are successful in having your payments modified, it is important to keep up with your new payments so that you do not fall behind and end up in arrears.
Work with a Florida Family Law Attorney
If you are going through a divorce or separation, it is important to calculate child support correctly. How much child support that you pay each month can have a significant impact on your finances. An experienced family law attorney can help you calculate child support and ensure that the amount you pay is fair.
At Schipani, Norman & McLain, P.A., we can help ensure that your child's needs will be met financially and that child support is fair. Learn how we can help or schedule a consultation with a member of our team by calling (941) 499-8154 or by visiting our website.