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What Counts As Income For Child Support in Florida?

When child custody is arranged in a divorce or paternity case in Florida, there is a requirement that a child support calculation be made. This calculation is based upon the Florida Child Support Guidelines and ensures that all families with similar incomes are treated the same with regard to child support.

The guidelines base child support on the income of both parents. The income includes a number of things: income from employment (including bonuses, commissions, overtime and tips), business income, disability benefits, workers' compensation, unemployment compensation, pension and annuity payments, social security, alimony, interest and dividends, net rental income, income from royalties and trusts and estates, reimbursed expenses that reduce living expenses and recurring gains from dealing in property.

Basically if you get paid from any source, it will be considered as income for purposes of calculating child support. The court can even impute income to you if you are underemployed. That is, if you could make more money but are not because you are not trying to earn to your highest potential, the court can treat you as if you are fully employed and require you to pay child support based upon the income that you could be making.

Bottom Line: Ask the best Tampa divorce lawyer you can find to explain to you the specific ins and outs of income that is considered in the calculation of child support.

(copyright Stann Givens 2009)

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A spouse who does not make timely support payments can have his or her wages garnished through the Florida Child Support Enforcement Department. The court orders that alimony be automatically taken from the paying spouse's paycheck. The court can also order that the paying spouse give the alimony payments to the Support Enforcement Department, which will give the money to the receiving spouse. The department acts as a third party which manages the collection and distribution of support payments on a statewide basis. If the paying spouse of child support or alimony fails to make timely and sufficient payments, the court can suspend the paying spouse's driver's license.
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