How Is Child Support Calculated in Florida?

Child support is a crucial aspect of ensuring the financial well-being of children after a separation or divorce. Understanding how child support is calculated in Florida can help parents navigate the process more effectively, ensuring the best interests of their children are met.

In this article, we'll explore the key factors and guidelines involved in calculating child support in Florida.

Child Support Guidelines in Florida

In Florida, child support is primarily determined using the "Income Shares Model." This model takes into account both parents' incomes and the number of children they have to calculate a fair and proportional amount of child support. The state provides guidelines outlining the basic support obligations based on the parents' combined income and the number of children they have.

The Income Shares Model

In Florida, the Income Shares Model takes into account the combined income of both parents and the number of children they have. The basic premise is that both parents' incomes contribute to supporting their child, even if the child primarily resides with one parent.

This model aims to ensure that children receive the same proportion of parental income they would have received if the parents were still together. In essence, it considers that both parents have a responsibility to financially support their children, regardless of the custody arrangement.

Here's how the Income Shares Model typically works in Florida:

  • Determining gross income: Each parent's gross income is calculated, which includes wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, self-employment income, rental income, and other sources of income.
  • Adjustments for allowable deductions: Certain allowable deductions, such as taxes, health insurance premiums, mandatory retirement contributions, and support obligations for other children from a different relationship, may be subtracted from the gross income to arrive at the adjusted gross income.
  • Referring to the Florida child support guidelines: Florida provides specific guidelines for calculating child support based on the combined adjusted gross income of both parents and the number of children they have. These guidelines establish the basic child support obligation.
  • Considering additional factors: While the guidelines provide a starting point, additional factors may be considered to ensure fairness. These factors may include the cost of healthcare and childcare, as well as the amount of time each parent spends with the child.
  • Calculating child support obligation: Once all relevant factors have been considered, the child support obligation is calculated. This amount represents the total support that the non-custodial parent is required to pay to the custodial parent for the support of the child.

Consult with a Lawyer to Learn More

When you’re a parent, nothing is more important than ensuring the best for your children. If you are concerned about child support, consult with a family lawyer who can help you calculate it and fight for a fair outcome. Rest assured that Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office can provide the legal assistance you need during this time.

Contact us today to request a consultation and learn more about how we can help.


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