How Does Florida Determine Child Support Payments?

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Florida law requires that all divorcing couples with children have a parenting plan, which includes support obligations for both parents. How do the courts in Florida determine a parent’s child support responsibility? The formula, outlined in Florida Statute 61.30, uses the parents monthly income to figure the total child support payment amount. Then each parent is assigned a percentage of responsibility based on their income as a percentage of the total income of both parents. There are some other factors that come into play as well.

Child care: 100% of child care costs due to employment must be added to the support amount.

Health insurance: Any premiums and ongoing medical expenses not covered by insurance must be added in.

Determine the actual amount of support: Florida allows parents to increase or decrease support obligations by as much as 5% without court approval.

Adjust for overnight visits: Child support must be calculated based on the number of nights the child regularly stays with each parent.

Add a provision for terminating child support: In order to automatically end support payments when the child turns eighteen, joins the military, or other recognized events, parents must include a provision for this in the parenting plan. Otherwise the parents will have to return to court to reduce or eliminate the payments.

Consider insurance: The court may require a payer to obtain life insurance. The court cannot require disability insurance, but parents can include a provision to maintain an existing policy.

If you are considering divorce and have children, please contact our firm for legal counsel. Find out more about Florida child support law at Florida Parenting Plans – Child Support Issues to Consider.