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How is Child Support

Determined in Florida?


Child support is essentially calculated based on timesharing schedules and the net income of the parties, amongst other factors. Typically, the number of overnights with each parent determines which parent will be required to make child support payments.

The amount of child support is based on Florida’s Child Support Guidelines, which requires the Court to consider factors such as:


  • The income and earning abilities of each parent

  • The child’s standard of living

  • Healthcare and daycare costs

  • The cost of extracurricular activities


The Court may deviate from the guidelines by five percent when it is reasonable and necessary to do so, based upon the following factors:


  • Extraordinary educational or medical expenses

  • Seasonal variations in one or both parents’ income

  • Age of the child or children

  • Expenses related to special needs

  • Independent income of the child

  • The total assets of the parents and children

  • Any changes in the amount of time-sharing for a parent

  • Any other reason that should be considered in order to make the child support payments equitable


At Wheaton Law Firm, Wyndi and her team are dedicated to making sure mothers and fathers have the resources to care for their children after a divorce. They are highly skilled at resolving complex child support matters, ranging from those involving a parent with undisclosed income or assets, or a parent who is self-employed, to a parent who has defaulted on a child support order. Call today for a consultation.


Modification of Child Support

Florida law states that both the parent paying and receiving child support can request a modification, as long as they can demonstrate that there has been a significant change in circumstance that would warrant a modificationSituations that may warrant a modification of child support include:


  • Significant reduction in income of either party due to involuntary job loss, hospitalization, or long-term health concerns

  • An increase in income due to a promotion, new employment, or business venture that offsets the child support equation

  • Child is emancipated or there is a decrease in children’s care expenses (i.e., daycare is no longer required)

  • Changes in health insurance availability or costs

  • Change in Parenting Plans (custody) or Time-Sharing Agreements.


The guidelines may provide the basis for proving a substantial change in circumstances upon which a modification of an existing order may be granted. However, the difference between the existing monthly obligation and the amount provided for under the guidelines shall be at least 15 percent or $50, whichever amount is greater, before the court may find that the guidelines provide a substantial change in circumstances.


Enforcing a Child Support Order

Child support exists to ensure that children’s needs will be met when their parents separate or divorce. Whether parents agree to it, or a Court orders it, parents cannot waive the responsibility to financially support their children. If the paying parent fails to meet his or her child support obligation, it may be necessary to ask the Court to enforce the order. Florida Courts take child support very seriously and have multiple means to enforce the requirement that parents meet their financial obligations. Some steps the Court may take to enforce a child support order are:


  • Wage garnishment (ordering payments to be automatically deducted from the non-paying parent’s paycheck)

  • Placing a lien on real property

  • Seizing bank accounts

  • Holding the non-paying parent in contempt of court


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.

This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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