Child Support Calculations

Child support is a legal duty both parents are responsible for. The child support is not for the personal use of the receiving parent. It is the child(ren)’s money and is to be used for their purposes only.

The amount of child support that the one parent pays to the other parent is determined by the Florida Child Support Guidelines. There is a formula that is used to calculate the amount of child support to be paid by the payor spouse. The child(ren) have the right to be supported by both parents. It is important that the proper numbers are utilized so that the correct child support amount is calculated.

Often times parents attempt to calculate child support on their own. There are apps on the internet that allow for the calculation without taking into account the legal requirements of child support. Please do not use online apps to calculate child support. It is important that you contact a licensed Florida Attorney to calculate child support based on the current law.

When calculating the proper child support amount there are a number of factors to consider that affect the child support actually ordered by the court. Some of those issues are: the amount of overnights that each parent has with the child(ren); the financial needs of the child(ren) such as day care expenses, medical/dental insurance, uninsured medical payments, and the gross income of both parents.

One of the main issues to consider in regards to child support is the amount of overnights that each parent keeps the children. If one parent exercises 20% or more of the overnights each year, then that parent will receive a credit on the child support guidelines toward the final child support amount owed.

Child Support vs. Visitation Rights

The issues of child support and child visitation (time sharing) are two separate and distinct matters. If a parent is not paying his/her child support as Ordered, this is not a legal reason to stop time sharing with the payor spouse. Often times parties believe that if they do not receive child support, then that parent has the right to stop all time sharing. The proper action to take in this case is to contact a family law attorney skilled in the rules of family law and procedure and file a Motion for Contempt of Court for violating the child support order. The Court will immediately take into consideration the time sharing agreement and the order in place at the time the payor spouse stops paying the child support. An Affidavit can be issued from the clerk of the court showing the exact amount of child support arrears accumulated by the payor spouse.

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