In the state of Florida, child support must be paid if there are minor children involved in a divorce. The purpose of child support is to pay for a child’s essential needs after their parent’s divorce, including electricity, shelter, water, food, clothing, etc. Usually, child support is awarded to the parent that has primary custody of the children.
If you are wondering what you will have to pay for the upkeep of your child or children, keep reading to learn about some of the factors that Florida courts are going to consider when figuring out the amount of child support payments.
The first thing considered by Florida courts when determining child support payments is each of the parent’s income. Their gross income includes their salaries and wages, overtime pay, bonuses, income from a partnership or corporation, commissions, spousal support from another marriage, disability benefits, social security benefits, retirement, rental income, annuity payments, and any other income source.
Monthly incomes may be imputed of one of the child’s parents is underemployed or unemployed. Once the gross income of each of the parents is determined, the court may opt to allow for some deductions, including (but not always limited to):
Another factor considered by the courts is how the child lived before the divorce. This also plays a role in how much child support must be paid. The goal of this is to make sure the child’s standard of living is not affected too much by the separation of their parents.
Courts make the assumption that the parent who has primary custody of the child is going to incur more expenses to care for them than the parent who does not have primary custody. If the other parent does make more money than the custodial parent, they may have to pay more to them to cover the expenses.
The total number of overnight visits that a child has with each of their parents is also going to be considered when a court is trying to figure out child support payments. This is considered to determine the time each parent is actually financially responsible for their child or children.
For example, if the non-custodial parent is only seeing the child one time a week for an overnight visit, the court may assume that the custodial parent has more of the childcare responsibility and, as a result, award them with a higher child support payment.
After determining each parent’s net income, the court will consider how many children came from the marriage. At this point, Child Support Guidelines are used to figure out how much each of the parents are responsible for contributing to the children’s care from their net income. Adjustments may be made based on the total number of overnight visits that the child has with the non-custodial parent.
At the very foundation of child support payments, the court is going to keep in mind the child’s best interest. If you need help with your child support case, contact our legal team at Lewert Law, LLC by calling (561) 544-6861.
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