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Florida Child Support Guidelines and Seasonal Income Variations

In a Florida divorce or a Florida paternity case, the law sets out a specific schedule that determines how much child support each party is responsible for based on the income of both parents and the number of children in the family. We have previously discussed, however, that the law provides for certain exceptions from these guidelines, such as the demonstrated need for one party to financially support an elderly parent or certain extraordinary medical or educational expenses.

Another exception is seasonal variations in one or both parents' income. What does this mean and how would a court interpret this provision? One example might be a teacher who gets paid his salary during the school year when he's in class teaching but not over the summer. Another example could be a salesman who gets paid mostly on commission and sees larger paychecks around the holiday shopping season. These are only two circumstances for which the court could deviate from the established guidelines. There are many others.

Bottom Line: If you find yourself having trouble meeting your child support obligations due to changes in your income from month-to-month, consult with the best St. Petersburg divorce attorney to make sure you receive the reasonable accommodation as provided by law.

(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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