Child Support In Florida
Parents have an obligation to support their children. In Florida, we utilize a mathematical formula to determine how much support each parent is required to pay. The parents’ income, the number of children being supported, and the amount of time that each parent spends with the children are all factors included in the calculations as a starting point. Child support payments are also affected by health insurance costs and childcare costs.
All of this information is plugged into the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet to determine the child support figures. Julie Beth Jouben, P.A., can help you create a child support arrangement.
Deviation from Guidelines
The parties may agree to payment of child support that is more or less than what the Guidelines show. It may be that a child has special needs that will not be met by the support required under the guidelines. Perhaps one parent is providing all of the transportation costs for timesharing. Sometimes, the parents spend equal time with the children and they agree that neither parent will pay support to the other.
So long as the agreement made by the parents is in the best interests of the children who are entitled to the support, the Court can ratify and approve the deviation from Child Support Guidelines.
Enforcement of Child Support
Child support does not actually belong to the receiving parent – it belongs to the child. The receiving parent cannot waive child support. Enforcement of a child support order can result in child support being taken directly out of the paying parent’s paycheck. A failure to pay support may result in the suspension of the paying parent’s driver’s license or the incarceration of the paying parent until a purge amount is paid.
Modification of Child Support
Child support obligations can be modified by the Court. The parent moving for the change must show that there has been a substantial, material, permanent, unanticipated and involuntary change in circumstances. This can be a hard burden to meet.
A change in income of the paying parent or the receiving parent may be sufficient to modify a child support amount downward or upward. The child support obligation may include the cost of daycare that is no longer being paid when the child reaches school age.
Sometimes a parent’s child support obligation is reduced because that parent is supposed to be spending a substantial amount of time with the children. If the parent does not actually exercise timesharing, the child support obligation may be modified accordingly.