The Florida Child Support Guidelines are used to calculate the amount of support is appropriate for the ongoing care of children with divorced parents. While it is a complicated process the Florida guidelines provide a logical and transparent calculation process that is useful to understand.
This article is not meant to provide legal advice nor is it intended to replace the services of an attorney. The following utilizes public source content and resources that are valuable to have assembled in one location.
How Does the State Determine the Income in Calculating Support Payments
The first step is to determine income. Income is any form of legal payment including, but not limited to, the following:
- Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, and tips
- Business income from self-employment, partnerships, and close corporations
- Disability benefits, including VA disability
- Dividends and interest
- Independent contractor compensation
- Payments from federal or local government
- Pension, retirement, and annuity payments
- Reimbursed expenses or in-kind payments if reduces living expenses
- Rental Income
- Royalties, trusts, and estates
- Social Security benefits
- Spousal support
- Unemployment compensation
- Wages or salary
- Workers’ compensation benefits and settlements
DEDUCTIONS AND EXCLUSIONS
There are deductions you can subtract from your gross income amount. The child support calculations can do this for you. Some things you can deduct are:
- Paid court-ordered support for other children
- Federal, local, and state income taxes
- Health insurance payments, excluding payments for coverage of the minor child
- Mandatory union dues and retirement payments
- Self-employment tax or federal insurance contributions
- Paid spousal support from previous or current marriage
Determine net income by subtracting deductions and exclusions from your gross income. The resulting net income amount will be the number on which the child support is based.
Childcare and health insurance can be a part of the child support order. However, they are often separated because costs for these services vary monthly. It is easier for parents to pay their pro rata share of childcare and health insurance expenses.
Adjusting the Number of Overnights
Thechild support formula takes into account the number of overnights a child spends with either parent. If a child is with one parent 100% of the time, then the other parent should pay the highest amount of child support. If there is 50-50 parental time-sharing, then the main income earner may pay less child support. This is because they are already paying for reasonable expenses 50% of the time.
The chart below contains the guideline amounts that you should use when calculating child support. This amount is based on the number of children and the combined income of the parents, and it is divided between the parents in direct proportion to their income or earning capacity. From time to time, some of the amounts in the child support guidelines chart will change. Be sure you have the most recent version of the chart before using it.Guideline-chart
Florida Child Support Guidelines Calculator
Click here to download a PDF containing a portion of the actual form with formulas that are used to calculate child support payments.Floirda-Child-Support-Calculator
While you can prepare these forms, and file for modification following the Florida Child Support Guidelines, you may not wish to do this on your own. When filing to modify a child support decree it is highly recommended to consult an attorney.
We encourage you to schedule an appointment to discuss the details of your situation to determine your next steps.