The end of a marriage is a painful and difficult time. Things can be made even worse if there are children involved. Divorces can be bitter, painful, difficult, and expensive; or, they can be civilized, amicable, and relatively inexpensive. No matter the unresolved stress and strain between you and your ex, you should try to make things as easy as you can for your children.
But trying to protect your children from the worst effects of divorce need not mean capitulation. You must defend your financial and material rights. If you are to have sole custody or some form of joint custody with you as the primary provider, it is essential that you get financial support to raise your children in relative comfort and decency.
What are Florida’s Child Support Guidelines?
Florida’s Child Support Guidelines are put in place to make sure that support is fair for each party and that parents will have the ability to provide that support.
Factors that may affect how child support is determined includes:
- Each parent’s ability to pay child support.
- The cost of supporting the child’s essential needs.
- The amount of time each parent spends with the child.
- Number of children the parent has.
In these guidelines, there are tables to help assist with calculating the amount of support. To read the full guidelines, visit the Florida Senate’s website here.
How is Child Support Calculated?
In a child support case, both parents will need to fill out a financial affidavit that explains their current income and expenses. Once the gross income is calculated, certain expenses and costs are deducted from the total to determine the individual net income.
Then the court will add each parent’s net income and use the factors provided in Florida’s Child Support Guidelines to determine the final amount of support that should be issued. The guidelines offer a table that shows how much support is needed based on the net income and how many children there are.
The last step is to assign a percentage of the obligation of support. This percentage is not always split 50/50, and some parents may be required to pay more in support than the other. To determine the obligation percentage, the guidelines look at each parent’s net income. This is then divided by both parent’s total net income and the result is multiplied by the child support obligation as listed in the guideline’s table.
This final amount is what the noncustodial parent will be required to pay in support to the primary custodial parent. Once the court has made the final order, child support can be difficult to change. There must be proof from one of the parents that there has been a substantial and ongoing change in circumstances that has made the current order nearly impossible.
Find Assistance With Calculating Child Support Today
Dealing with child support matters can be confusing and challenging. At Advocate Law Firm, P.A., we believe that you shouldn’t have to go through such difficulties on your own. Our team of Bartow family law professionals are here to help you with your child support case by providing you with the knowledge you need to make sure your rights are always protected.
Need help with determining your child support obligation? Call our team today at (863) 644-5566.