Written By: Lenorae C. Atter, Attorney
Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A.
Florida child support is calculated using child support guidelines established in Florida Statute 61.30. If child support is not being determined until after the parties have separated, or later in the child’s life if the parents were not together, then there may be back child support owed. In accordance with Florida Statute 61.30(17), the court cannot order child support going back further than two (2) years from the date of filing a petition for support. The reason for this provision is to protect a parent from child support going back to the birth of the child, if the child is now much older. It also helps in determining the past support owed because a determination of the income of the parents would have to be made back to the birth of the child(ren) if the provision were not in place, since most individuals are not making the same today as they were 5 years ago.
When back child support is owed, it is generally paid in a monthly figure that is less than the monthly child support amount. For example, if child support of $500 per month is owed and back child support is owed, then the court may say $100 per month shall be paid to that amount. So, each month, the responsible party will have to pay $600 in support until the arrears are paid in full. Then the monthly obligation will continue at $500 per month.
Child support does calculate a number of factors and it is best to speak with an attorney that can do a proper calculation in determining the amount owed for present and past support.