Florida Child Support Guidelines and Calculator

Florida Child Support Guidelines and Calculator

A child support order tells the parents what they must do to support their children. Enforcing child support orders means getting the parent to do what the order says.

The amount of child support is based on guidelines defined in Florida law. Child support guidelines are standards used to figure out the support needed for a child and the amount a parent has to pay. Guidelines help make sure support amounts are fair. Every state has guidelines, but they may be different in each state.

These guidelines are used the first time child support is ordered and every time the child support amount changes. They are also used to review the order to see if the support amount should be changed.

Child support guidelines consider:

  • The income of both parents
  • The child’s health care and child care costs
  • The standard needs for the child. A list of support amounts based on the child’s age and net income of the parents is in the Florida law – standard needs table.

The court or agency establishing support must use these guidelines to decide the amount of child support that will go in a Florida support order. In special circumstances, support amounts can be higher or lower than the guideline amounts. For example, a judge may consider a child’s high medical expenses as a reason to change the support amount. In most cases, judges have to give written reasons why support amounts are different from guideline amounts.

You can get an estimate of child support amounts by using the Florida Child Support Calculator. The calculator will take the information you put in and give you an estimate of your child’s support amount. This estimate is for informational purposes only. A court or agency may look at factors that are not included in your estimate.

A Cautionary Tale: Divorce Leads to High Emotions

A Cautionary Tale: Divorce Leads to High Emotions

Heightened Emotions during a divorce can lead to Abuse

All too often when clients are first dealing with the throes of divorce or separation, the emotions involved run high. There is an old adage that says that criminal lawyers see people at their best and divorce lawyers see people at their worst.

Sometimes, however, emotions can run too high and things can turn violent.  Attorneys and judges work very hard to keep this from happening. That said, in April of 2011, Catie Scott-Gonzalez was brutally beaten by her husband, Paul Gonzalez, after a judge ordered that he pay child support. According to an ABC News report, Gonzalez told the judge he was going to take his children and nobody was going to see them again. When Catie looked to see the judge’s response, Gonzalez came after her from behind and started strangling her with his left hand and started hitting her on her face with his right hand. The first blow to her head knocked her unconscious. Bailiffs had to taser Gonzalez twice to subdue him.  Catie spent three days in the hospital with a broken nose, fractured cheekbone and broken jaw. She was so badly beaten that her children, Isabella, 2, and Nathaniel, 3, didn’t recognize their mother.  This incident took place in the judge’s chambers.

Although child custody, child support, and divorce are difficult issues which can and do put a great deal of stress on both the individual spouses and the families, no person has the right to let stress turn into violence or to hurt another person physically (or emotionally or mentally for  that matter).  The point is that in the above situation, because of his poor choices, Gonzalez will now face serious criminal charges, jeopardizing his parenting time and his children will be without child support while he serves time in jail.

Family law issues can become extremely complex.  Securing strong legal representation from an attorney who knows Florida divorce law is the first step toward the outcome you deserve.  If you are concerned about what will happen to your children, the future of your home and other assets, or the overall costs of divorce, please schedule an initial consultation with experienced family law attorney.

Florida Divorce Law: Child Support

Florida Divorce Law: Child Support

FLORIDA CHILD SUPPORT

You and your spouse each have a responsibility to sup­port your children in accordance with their needs and your financial abilities. Child support may be by direct payment or by indirect benefits, such as mortgage payments, insurance, or payment of medical and dental expenses. Ordinarily the obligation to support your child ends when that child reaches age 18, marries, is emancipated, joins the armed forces, or dies.

Some of the issues concerning child support which must be considered include: (a) the amount of support; (b) the method of payment; (c) ways to assure payments are made; (d) when child support may be increased or de­creased; and (e) who claims the dependency deduction for tax purposes. Other questions may need to be answered,depending on the circumstances of your case. Guidelines for the amount of support apply to all cases and are based on the income of the parents and the number of children with adjustments for substantial overnight contact.

If you have a problem getting support payments from your spouse or former spouse, or the time-sharing plan is not being followed, you should bring this matter to the attention of the court. It is not legal to withhold visitation or child support payments because either parent fails to pay court ordered child support or violates the time-sharing schedule in the parenting plan.

Family law issues can become extremely complex.  Securing strong legal representation from an attorney who knows Florida divorce law is the first step toward the outcome you deserve.  If you are concerned about what will happen to your children, the future of your home and other assets, or the overall costs of divorce, please schedule an initial consultation with experienced family law attorney.

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