Factors Determining Child Support Payments in Florida
In Florida, paying child support is not an option if minor children are involved in a divorce. Child support is meant to pay the essential needs of a child such as food, shelter, utilities, and more. The parent with primary residential custody is typically the parent awarded child support, which leaves the paying parent wondering how the child support amount is determined. Here are a few of the factors that Florida courts use when determining child support:
- Income – The first thing the court system will review is the income of both parents. Gross income will be one of the deciding factors and includes wages, bonuses, salaries, overtime pay, and commissions. The pay may come from a corporation, disability benefits, partnerships, alimony payments from another marriage, retirement, annuity payments, rental income, social security income, and more. If a parent is underemployed or unemployed, minimum wage income may be imputed for that parent. In certain situations union dues, health insurance costs, spousal support or child support from another marriage, day care costs of the children of the relationship, and income tax deductions may be allowed to be deducted.
- Standard of Living for the Child Before the Divorce – The court will also likely take into consideration the standard of living the child was experiencing before the divorce. The court will try to ensure that this standard of living is not impacted after the divorce.
- Custodial Parent Needs – The court will assume that the primary residential custody parent will have more expenses for the child. If the noncustodial parent has a higher income than the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent may be required to pay additional costs to cover needed expenses.
- Overnight Visitations – The number of visits the child stays overnight with each parent will also be used to determine the amount of child support payments. This is because each parent will be financially responsible for the child when the child is in their custody. For example, if the non-custodial parent only has one overnight visit each week with the child, the court may decide that the custodial parent has more financial responsibility than average due to this and award the custodial parent more child support.
How Payments Are Calculated for Child Support
After the net income of both parents is evaluated, the court will also take into consideration the number of children. The court will then use the state’s Child Support Guidelines to determine the percentage that each parent is required to contribute from their income.
Contact an Experienced Child Support Attorney Today
When it comes to child custody and support, the most important thing the court will take into consideration is what they believe to be the best interests of the child. Regardless of any disputes you may have with your ex, the court will expect you to put everything aside in order to take care of your child. If you are facing child custody or support issues, you need the guidance of the Orlando family attorneys at O’Mara Law Group. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.