How is child support calculated in Florida?

Child support orders in Florida outline the financial obligations parents have towards their children. In Florida, child support guidelines are used to determine the amount of child support the child needs, and the amount of child support the paying parent is required to pay. Child support guidelines are designed to help ensure that required child support amounts are fair.

Child support guidelines are used to determine the initial amount of child support that is required, and are also used if any child support modifications are made. Child support guidelines take into account the income of both parents, the health care needs of the child, child care costs and the standard needs of the child. Child support amounts are listed based on the child's age and net income of the parents. In some circumstances, child support may be set higher or lower than child support guidelines.

If the family law court deviates from the child support guidelines, the reason why typically must be provided. One reason the family law court may deviate from the child support guidelines, as an example, could be because of the medical expenses of the child. Following a child support order, circumstances may change which is why the family law process provides follow-up resources such as child support enforcement options and child support modification options.

The consequences for failing to pay child support or reach out to the family law court for help when struggling to pay child support can be significant. As a result, parents are encouraged to be familiar with the family law process concerning child support, the important resources it provides and how to use those resources.

Source: Florida Department of Revenue, "Child Support Amounts," Accessed July 31, 2017

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