Florida Child Support Law

Under Florida Law child support is governed by section 61.30, Florida Statute which sets forth a formula to calculate the parental monthly obligation.  The calculation is based on the combined net income, the number of minor children, certain credits including childcare (daycare), health insurance and the number of days the each child will spend with the parent (the time-sharing plan).   The child support calculation is extremely tricky and should only be made with the assistance of an attorney.

When can you establish child support?
Child support may be established in a divorce, paternity, or any other family case that involves children.   To establish child support for children born out of wedlock the mother will need to initiate a paternity action.

What is child support for?
Child support is designated to provide the custodial parent the financial assistance to care for the minor child or children.  The purpose of the support is to assist in providing the child with a home, food, clothing or any other necessities

How long does child support last?
In Florida both parents are legally required to financially support their minor children until the children:

  1. Reach 18 years of age (or no later than 19 of the child is in high school with the reasonable expectation of graduating by the age of 19
  2. Gets married
  3. Joins the armed forces
  4. Dies
  5. Becomes emancipated

What Constitutes Income?
Florida’s child support guidelines take into account all relative income, but not limited, to the following:

  1. Salary or wages
  2. Bonuses, commissions, overtime, tips etc.
  3. Self-employment income, business income, partnership income
  4. Disability benefits
  5. Workers’ compensation benefits and settlements
  6. Unemployment compensation
  7. Pension, retirement, and annuity payments
  8. Social Security benefits
  9. Spousal support received from a prior marriage or court order
  10. Other forms of income
  11. Interests and dividends
  12. Rental income
  13. Income from royalties, trusts, and estates

Deviation of child support
Florida judges are authorized to deviate from the child support guidelines amount by as much as 5 (five) percent either up or down for any reason.  Judges can deviate by more than 5 (five) percent for specific reasons such as

  1. Medical expenses or other special needs of the child
  2. The child spends substantial time with both parents
  3. One parent has significantly more parenting time than the other
  4. One parent has very little parenting time

Contact Your South  Florida Divorce and Family Law Attorney Today
Our law firm is located in South Florida and we practice family law throughout Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.  Should you have questions or would like to schedule a free consultation at our Miami office please don’t hesitate to call us at 305-397-2333.