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Deviations from the Florida Child Support Guidelines

In determining the amount of child support to be paid in a Florida divorce case, courts have established a precise numerical formula for calculating those payments. The Florida child support guidelines are based on factors such as the children's health care expenses and the number of days the child stays overnight at each parent's house. Ultimately, Florida family law courts are confined to this formula to establish payments.

A parent can, however, request that the court deviate from this formula as detailed by the Florida Child Support Guideline Statute. One of these reasons is if the child earns an independent income.

For example, a child may possibly hold a job as a hostess or a bus boy at a local restaurant. If this child is earning enough income to purchase his or her own clothes, or pay for his or her own car insurance or medical expenses, child support payments may be lower than the formula establishes.

A board certified Tampa family law attorney can guide you through court proceedings in this scenario. While a modification or deviation from the formula is not guaranteed, the court will take your situation into consideration when calculating payments.

Bottom Line: The Florida child support guidelines contain exceptions to the usual formula.

(copyright Stann Givens 2009)


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An uncontested divorce means that the spouses agree on the division of marital property, alimony, and child custody, support, and visitation. The spouses sign a Marital Settlement Agreement and go to court for a quick hearing to finalize the divorce. The cost of an uncontested Florida divorce is usually minimal. It generally takes 30 days after the parties sign the Marital Settlement Agreement for the court to finalize the uncontested divorce. This time will vary depending on how busy the courthouse is, but an uncontested divorce with both spouse's participation is typically the fastest.
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