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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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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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