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Child Support

Melbourne Child Support Lawyer Helps Florida Families

FLORIDA GUIDELINES FOR CALCULATING CHILD SUPPORT

Child support in Florida is calculated based on the child support guidelines set forth in Florida Statutes, Chapter 61.30. Child support is based on the income of each parent and the number of children. Each parent must file a financial affidavit reflecting monthly income, expenses, assets and liabilities

The Florida Child Support Guidelines are very specific about the earnings that must be included in “gross income” and the deductions that are allowable to determine “net income”.

  • Timeshare Schedule – The child support must be calculated after the timeshare schedule or parenting plan is established and the number of overnights that each parent spends with the child is included in the child support calculation.
  • Insurance – The cost of health/dental insurance for the children must also be included in the child support calculations. Most families have “family coverage” which may include a Mother, Father and children. The cost for the parent as “employee only” must be determined (as it is an allowable deduction) and then the additional cost that is paid to add the children must be determined so that each parent contributes to this cost. Any out of pocket medical/dental expenses incurred for the child will be paid separately by percentage based on the income of each party.
  • Child Care Costs – Monthly child care required for employment or educational purposes is also included in the child support calculation. This includes after school care.

CAN CHILD SUPPORT BE CHANGED?

Child support is paid until a child reaches the age of 18 years. A court may require payment of child support past 18 years of age if the child is dependent because of mental or physical incapacity which began before reaching 18, or if the child is between 18 and 19, is still in high school, performing in good faith, and is reasonably expected to graduate before the age of 19.

If there is a substantial change of circumstances that occurs after the entry of a child support order, the child support may be modified. This is usually due to a change in the timeshare or the financial circumstances of one of the parties.
Child support may be paid directly to the other parent or through the State of Florida Disbursement Unit. The State of Florida Disbursement Unit is a record keeping facility that keeps a record of the child support payments and charges a small fee for facilitating the payment. Payments may also be garnished from a parent’s wages. There used to be a stigma attached to garnishment, however, now that most daily transactions are handled digitally or online, it is a welcomed convenience.

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • The cost of extracurricular activities should be considered.
  • The tax dependent and child tax credits should also be addressed.
  • The court may order one or both parents to maintain a life insurance policy to assist the other parent support the child, in the event of his/her death.
  • There may be reasons a court will deviate from the child support guidelines.

This firm can assist you in understanding the child support guidelines and litigate, enforce or modify child support orders.

Contact our experienced Florida family lawyer to schedule a consultation

Call the Law Office of Joan Berry Nassar, P.A. at 321-405-0042 or contact me online to schedule a consultation with a family law attorney in Melbourne, Florida .

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