Child support is payment made by one parent for the financial benefit of the child. Child support is to pay for the roof over the child's head, food, water, electricity, and other living essentials. In some cases child support also pays for health insurance, health care costs, and other expenses made for the benefit of the child.
Florida's Child Support Guidelines
Child support is determined by Florida’s Child Support Guidelines in Fla. Stat. 61.30. The child’s right to support cannot be waived, as it is collected for the benefit the child, not the parent.
While it is often decided during the dissolution of marriage, child support can be determined anytime as long as paternity has been established. Both parents have a responsibility to financial support their children in accordance with their income and the needs of the child.
Child support should begin as soon as the child is born if the parents do not reside together, and is paid until the child is 18-years old. In the event that the child is still in high school and is expected to graduate before age 19, child support can be extended until high school graduation.
Calculation of Child Support in Florida
The amount of child support awarded is determined by the Florida Child Support Guidelines, which takes into account the income of both parents, the time-sharing schedule, the number of nights spent with each parent, the child’s health care, child care costs, as well as the standard needs of the child, based on the child’s age. Based on these many factors, child support payments can vary greatly.
To learn about child custody arrangements in Florida, read our article Florida Family Laws Focus On the Best "Time-Sharing" Situation for Minor Children.
Modifying Child Support Payments
Modification to child support payments can be made when income changes. Deductions or increases to child support payments must go through the proper procedures to be enforceable.
Missing Child Support Payments
Often child support cases go to court because payments are not being paid, or are not being paid in full.
In some cases this may be due to a blatant refusal to pay, or because the parent feels their rights as a parent are being impaired. However, time-sharing and receipt of child support are not dependent upon each other. In these situations, the courts will get involved to make sure the child is receiving the proper financial support.
Child Support in Florida
Our team at Draper Law Office understands child support and custody cases are critically important - they can shape the lives of families for years to come, and are often incredibly emotional, and personal. We are here to guide you through the process and provide sounds legal advice.
- We can help you with all aspects of child support, including:
- Initial determination of support payments.
- Modifications to the original order of support payments.
- Guidance through the process of paying or receiving child support.
- Representation at Department of Revenue or Child Support Enforcement hearings.
To learn more about your legal rights during the determination of child support, modifications to child support orders, or recovery of back child support payments, contact us on the web, call (866) 767-4711, or email info@DraperLawOffice.com to schedule a consultation.