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How To Calculate Florida Child Support
In order to ensure that child support payments are fair to both parents, Florida law has very defined standard guidelines for child support. It is very easy to calculate child support in the state of Florida, especially with the help of the numerous online tools available.
If you wish to calculate your own support, however, here is a step-by-step to guide you:
1. Identify your net income
The first step to take when calculating Florida child support is identifying the net income of both parents. Your net income is your gross income after taking into account allowable deductions. Examples of allowable deductions are state, federal and local income tax deductions, union dues, federal insurance contributions and health insurance payments.
If you and your spouse have both completed financial affidavits, you should be able to find your net income on the second page. If you make over $50,000 per year, then you should find your net income on the third page of your long form.
If you don’t have a pay stub or are self-employed, look at your total net income from last year’s tax return and divide the amount by 12.
2. Calculate the cost of childcare and healthcare
The next thing you need to know is how much your health insurance and childcare costs are each month, regardless of which spouse pays for it. Take note that Florida law considers daycare as a form of childcare.
3. Compute the percentage of timeshare
The guidelines change significantly if one of the parents has more than 73 overnights (also known as 20% overnights) in one calendar year. When this occurs, the amount of child support paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent decreases substantially.
Both parents should discuss timeshare, and be able to identify whether the percentage of overnights will be 20% or more.
4. Determine the amount of child support
Once you have computed the figures from the above-mentioned factors, you are then ready to calculate your Florida child support.
Visit www.flcourts.org and download form 12.902(e) for free. Input the figures you’ve calculated in their proper boxes on the form, and then follow the instructions given. You’ll find your Florida child support amount on the grid. This schedule is based on a mathematical formula that is standard for all parents.
If you wish to request for an amount different from the defined guideline amount, you’ll need to complete and file a Motion to Deviate from Child Support Guidelines.
Alimony in Florida can be requested when one spouse needs financial assistance. In order to qualify for alimony, the requesting spouse must prove need and that the paying spouse is financially able to make the payments. Alimony is typically a set amount which is paid monthly for a set period of time or until certain circumstances occur, such as remarriage. Alimony is not as common as one may think. The Florida divorce court can award temporary alimony until the final divorce hearing is held. Then, at the final divorce hearing, the court can order permanent alimony if it is requested and necessary.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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