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Florida Child Support
Child Support in Florida
The court may order either parent to pay child support during and after the dissolution of a marriage.
There are specific child support guidelines set out in Florida Statutes Annotated; Chapter 61.30.
The court may order the obligor parent to pay health insurance for the child and life insurance for himself or herself.
Florida child support is typically calculated by using a Child Support Worksheet. The worksheet generates an appropriate Florida child support obligation according to each spouse's income and other factors such as taxes paid and retirement contributions.
Additional information about Florida child support can be found in the Florida state statutes Annotated; Chapters 61.13 and 61.30.
Florida uses the Income Shares Model to determine the amount of child support the noncustodial parent must pay. The Income Shares Model estimates the amount of support that would have been available if the marriage had not failed. This estimated amount is then divided proportionally to the parents according to each parent's income. This is easy to do using the Florida child support worksheet. Pay records typically substantiate the estimated incomes.
This routine takes into account both parents' gross income and applies a percentage to it based on the number of minor children they have together. The court takes the combined income of both parents and works out the proportion each contributes. That figure is then divided proportionately based on each parent's ability to pay and which parent has primary custody.
If the noncustodial parent has a higher income than the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the greater portion of the child support obligation; conversely, if the noncustodial parent has a lower income than the custodial, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the smaller portion of the child support obligation.
Other Expenses and Deductions
For parents interested in more information, or to obtain child support services, contact the Department of Revenue, Florida's designated child support agency. The Department of Revenue's toll-free number for child support matters is 1-800-622-5437 (1-800-622-KIDS). Additional child support information and resources are available from the Department of Revenue website.
The Department of Revenue uses a number of means to enforce support including:
Child Support Enforcement
Information about Florida Child Support Enforcement can be found at their website.
Florida child support continues until a child reaches 18 years old unless the court orders otherwise. Child support automatically terminates at the age of majority, however, there can be an extension to 19 years old if the child will graduate high school by that time.
A parent must continue to pay support if he or she is in arrears.
Parents should look at the Florida child support deviation factors that may be applicable to the situation. The courts may deviate in the event of:
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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