If you are getting divorced in Florida and you have one or more minor children, one of the many concerns you may well have is how you can continue to financially support your children. Whether you are the parent who is required to pay support or you are the parent who will receive support, understanding how the state of Florida determines child support will be important for you to know.
According to the Florida Statutes, when a judge decides if and how much child support one person should pay, the incomes of both parents are reviewed. While income certainly includes any hourly or salary earnings from a job, many other things are also factored into the equation. These include tips, commisions, bonuses and even some reimbursements. Money received from Social Security, investments, retirement or pension plans and even a workers’ compensation or disability program will also be added in. Alimony received by one parent from a previous marriage is also considered income for that person.
Florida does have a general formula for calculating child support based upon the number of children involved and the monthly parental income. However, a judge has some discretion to adjust a final child support order. Deviation from the standard guideline may require writings from the judge to support the decision and clarify why the basic guideline amount would be inappropriate in a particular case.
If you would like to learn more about how child support is calculated, modified or tracked in Florida, please feel free to visit the parental financial responsibilities page of our family law website.