Divorce is challenging no matter the circumstances, and having to navigate child support can further complicate the process.
Child support in Florida is determined based on several factors that the court will look at closely.
- The income of both parents
- The custody or time-sharing arrangements, whether voluntary or court-ordered.
- The financial affidavits that are filed by each party when child support is contested.
Those broad terms are the basis for how Florida family law courts determine the amount of child support paid by one parent to the other.
Note: The financial threshold for child support is determined using net income, and the court has many financial expenditures that remove income from consideration. Two examples include the federal and state taxes withheld from paychecks.
The Expense Incurred to Raise A Child
The court will also look at the expenses spent on raising the child or children.
Basic Standard of Living Expense – food, clothing, housing, some transportation, and school lunches.
Education – tuition, school books, uniforms, etc. If the child goes to private school rather than public school, then the cost of tuition for private school is recognized as an expense of raising the child.
Medical Expenses – insurance, medicine, co-pays, out-of-pocket expenses that are routine and regular, and also those that are one-time expenses are all part of the medical consideration and expense of keeping a child healthy. For children with special medical needs, the cost can be very complex.
Social and Healthy Living Expenses – The Florida Family Law Court system recognizes that healthy children have other needs beyond basic care. It may include the cost of team sports, summer camps, tutors, music lessons, and extracurricular activities as necessary expenses and part of the cost of raising a child.
The Florida State Legislator has made it clear that both parents have an obligation to support their minor children.
“The Florida Legislature has determined that each parent has a fundamental obligation to support his or her minor or legally dependent child. §61.29(1)” –Florida Child Support Benchbook – Florida Courts.
When Is Child Support Not Awarded?
The only time that child support is not awarded is when both parents make the same amount of money and custody or time-sharing is equal. It is not a situation that occurs often. Both parties still have expenses for the children they will be required to share like uncovered medical or dental expenses, or extracurricular expenses.
Contact Vanstone Law With Your Child Support Questions
If you are going through a divorce, and need assistance navigating the complexities of child support, contact Vanstone Law. We have helped many Sarasota residents to determine the amount of appropriate child support that you will either owe or receive. We’re here to help guide you and remove as much stress as possible from the process.