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Child support is not a negotiation. In other words, parents cannot agree on a child support amount and think that it will be approved. Child support is a right that belongs to the child, as all children need the support of both parents. A common complaint our Florida child support lawyer hears is from the parent paying child support is that the receiving parent does not use the money for the actual support of the child; instead, the parent is going out to dinner, movies or Disney World. Can you compel that parent to give you an accounting as to how the money is spent? Generally no. The court is not going to micromanage how the child support payment is spent. It is presumed that the money, in some way, is being used to support the child – they need to eat, be entertained and continue being kids. On the other hand, if the money is being spent to support a drug habit or lavish trips when the kids are living in squalor like conditions, by all means let the court know about it. Short of that type of situation, the receiving parent can essentially do as they see fit with the money.

Calculating Child Support for a Simple Divorce Florida

Child support calculations are uniform throughout Florida. To correctly calculate Florida child support you need to know the following information.

  • The number of children being considered for child support.
  • The net monthly income for each parent.
  • Childcare costs paid by each parent (usually just your daycare amount, after school care and babysitting, if necessary on account of employment, job search or education calculated to result in employment or to enhance income or current income.
  • Health Insurance payments made by each parent.
  • Dental/Vision insurance payments made by each parent.
  • Other support obligation, if any, of each parent. This must be a support obligation imposed by court order that is actually being paid.
child support attorneys in florida

Child support is determined by a formula according to the Florida Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines will take the net monthly income (after taxes) of each party, as well as the number of children, their age, the cost of childcare, and the cost of health insurance into consideration. Child support is non-taxable to the recipient spouse and is not tax deductible for the paying spouse. Child support is modifiable based upon a material change in circumstances.

Every petition for child support or for modification of child support shall be accompanied by a Florida family law financial affidavit which shows the party’s income, allowable deductions, and must be served at the same time that the complaint is served. The other party must also file an affidavit that shows the party’s income and allowable deductions.

Child support enforcement is essential to the well being of our children. When there are children involved, that is the court’s primary concern. Remember, it does not matter whether your divorce is going to be uncontested or one of those “let’s fight” contested divorce cases; either way, child support is going to be calculated in accordance with the guidelines. Under certain circumstances, you can ask the court to deviate from the guidelines if there is a compelling reason. Florida child support lawyers must help to protect our most precious asset – children.