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Child Support Issues

Both Parents Are Obligated To Pay Child Support For Their Minor Child(ren)

The public policy of the State of Florida

In Florida, each parent is obligated to provide financial support for his/her/their minor child(ren).

Contrary to common belief, the obligation does not rest automatically with 'mom' or 'dad.'  Rather, the Court will calculate the amount of child support each parent owes based upon a complicated mathematical formula.

The formula takes into account several factors and then calculates an amount each parent is required to pay to the other parent on a monthly basis. 

The following principles establish the public policy of the State of Florida in the creation of the child support guidelines:

(1) Each parent has a fundamental obligation to support his or her minor or legally dependent child.

How is child support calculated?

  • Step 1

  • Step 2

  • Step 3

  • Step 4

01

Determine each parent's monthly net income

As part of the mediation process, Eric will ask each parent to complete an income/expense form to determine their gross monthly income (such as paycheck, self-employment business income, pensions, etc.) and then their net monthly income (after deducting common payroll expenses such as Federal withholding taxes, Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, and certain mandatory payroll deductions). The sum of the gross income less the deductions is known as that parent's monthly Net Income amount.

Common Questions

Can We Waive Child Support?

Parents sometimes desire that neither should be obligated to pay child support. They just want to share time with the child. However, the judges and State of Florida focus on the best interest and needs of the child. Therefore, unless you are able to convince a judge to deviate from the required child support and reduce it to zero, it is generally not considered an issue in divorce that can be waived. 

Can We Pay More Than The Formula Requires

Section 61.30(1)(a), F.S., provides: "The trier of fact may order payment of child support in an amount which varies more than 5 percent from such guideline amount only upon a written finding explaining why ordering payment of such guideline amount would be unjust or inappropriate." Upon filing for the divorce, the parent will need to make an additional filing to request the deviation.

What Is Imputed Income?

Generally speaking, imputed income is an amount used by the court to impute income "... to an unemployed or underemployed parent if such unemployment or underemployment is found by the court to be voluntary on that parent’s part, absent a finding of fact by the court of physical or mental incapacity or other circumstances over which the parent has no control." Section 61.30(2)(b), F.S.

Is Child Support Paid Directly To The Other Parent?

Most commonly, one parent pays their monthly child support obligation directly to the other parent (e.g., cash, check, money order, online transfer, etc.). However, sometimes a parent may want the monthly payment made directly to the Florida Department of Revenue. In such case, the payment will then be disbursed by the Department of Revenue to the receiving parent. 

Don't know where to start?

Confused? Overwhelmed? Questions?