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How much will I get in child support? The basics of child support guidelines in Florida

Potential clients involved in a divorce or paternity matter often approach attorneys with basic questions about the amount of child support to which they are entitled (or are obligated to pay) under Florida law. While it is always advisable to hire an experienced family law attorney to handle your child support matter, a general knowledge of how child support is calculated may be helpful.

In Florida, child support calculations depend on a number of factors. The general principle is that both parents have an obligation to support his or her child, and that child support should be based on the parents’ net income as it would be allocated to the child if they were living together as a family unit. Basically, the state wants to ensure that the child gets as much financial support from both parents as they would if the parents remain married. To calculate the child support obligation, each parent’s net monthly income is divided by the amount of child support that should be paid based on the combined net income of both parties. The amount of child support that should be paid based on the combined net income of both parties is set forth by statute.

In addition to the incomes of both parents, Florida child support guidelines take into account additional costs such as health insurance for the child or children and daycare costs. These additional expenses are added to the basic obligation amount and deducted from one parent’s share of the child support, if prepaid and reallocated between both parents.

Timesharing is another important factor in calculating child support. The amount both parties owe in child support varies according to the timesharing schedule agreed to by the parties or established by the Court. Generally speaking, the more overnights that a non-custodial parent spends with the child, the less that person will pay in child support.

There are also a number of reasons that the Court can consider in allowing a deviation from the child support guidelines, such as special needs of the child. If you are facing a child support issue, you should hire an attorney as soon as possible to help you navigate the complexities of Florida law.

In addition to child support matters, our firm also takes on cases involving divorce, custody battles, relocation issues, domestic violence injunctions, will and probate, criminal defense, personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases. While our main office is in Gainesville, we also handle family law matters through our satellite offices in Ocala, Chiefland, Lake City, and Palatka.
For help with your legal issue, contact the Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller for a free phone consultation at (866) 496-8752 or via email at Info@ForYourLaw.com

BY: Stephanie N. Mack, Board Certified Marital & Family Law Attorney

July 23, 2012
 
 
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