How to Calculate Child Support
A family law attorney can help you figure out if you should be paying or receiving child support. Once you become a parent, you are financially responsible for your child’s basic necessities. This applies to both biological and adopted children. When both parents are living under one roof with their child, Florida law presumes that both parents are contributing monetarily to the child’s needs. This situation changes when both parents begin to live separately, whether through a divorce or a boyfriend/girlfriend breakup.
Florida’s child support law uses a mathematical formula to calculate the amount needed to maintain the child. The parents cannot simply agree upon an amount and pay it; they must follow Florida law. Even though child support belongs to the child, the parent that is paying sends it to the other parent, or the state’s child support disbursement unit, on behalf of the child, and not to the child directly. The child support guidelines, which is laid out in Florida Statutes section 61.30 (6) tells lawyers, parties, and pro se litigants the amount that is due to the child, based on the combined monthly net income of both parents.
Besides income, there are other factors that the courts rely on in its calculation. These are:
- Timesharing (the amount of overnights the child spends with each parent);
- Child care costs;
- Premiums for the child’s health insurance; and
- Non-covered medical, dental and prescription medication costs;
The court then puts all of these numbers into the child support guidelines worksheet to figure out if any of the parents have to pay child support to the other. Sometimes there is financial liability from one parent to the other. Other times, the number is zero.
Modification and Termination
If you already have a child support court order and there has been changes in your or the other parent’s income, the cost of child care, or health insurance, you may be able to get the amount modified by the court. Modification can go upwards or downwards. Attorney, Cheryl Fletcher has assisted many parents who need to lower their financial obligation or increase the amount for child maintenance. She has also represented parents who are entitled to more child support because the other parent is making significantly more that they were at the time the court entered the original order.
Most financial obligations for a child end automatically on their 18th birthday; however, if the child is still in high school and is on track to graduate, the obligation may continue until the child is 19. In some circumstances, if the child has severe medical issues, financial responsibility can continue past 19 years old.
How a Family Law Attorney Can Help You?
Attorney Fletcher has been representing moms and dads with child maintenance issues since 2015. She strongly believes that parents should support their children but should pay only what is due. If you have a child support case, whether a new case or modification to an existing case, we are available to hear your situation and assist you with it. You may reach us at 561-507-5772.