Separating parents and former partners are often challenged by child support decisions, especially as the amounts for which they are liable, or due, will vary from case to case. Their confusion is understandable, and leads them to wonder just what determines the amount that a parent must pay to another in child support.
In Florida, child support may be the subject of agreement, but when parties are unable to agree on a monthly value, a court can determine that amount following guidelines in the Florida Child Support Statute.
Florida Child Support Guidelines
Child support generally covers the financial costs of raising a minor child or children of a separated couple. The amount is paid by one parent to the other parent who maintains physical custody of the children. The amount is based on a number of factors enumerated in Florida Statutes Section 61.30:
- The needs of the children
- Ages of the children
- Station in life
- Financial status and ability of each parent
- Standard of living, given the parents incomes
In addition to the children’s daily living expenses, the court may order the payment of day care, if it is needed and reasonably affordable. Medical expenses that are actually paid and not covered by health insurance may also be included in calculating child support.
Changing Monthly Child Support
The amount of child support may be modified when the circumstances of the paying parent significantly change, such as when the parent’s income has declined or when the timesharing schedule with the child has increased. Ideally, both parents should be able to discuss and agree on changing the monthly amount of support but where an agreement is not possible between them, the court may step in and issue the appropriate order after hearing both sides.
It’s absolutely important to have an experienced child support attorney on your side when working out the details of a support agreement or presenting a child support petition in court. Your lawyer can evaluate your situation, help you determine the reasonable amount of child support that your children deserve, and aggressively pursue your position in court, if necessary.
Representing Residents in Florida
In Tampa, Florida, the family law attorneys at the Anton Law Group have three decades of experience in helping families resolve their most difficult issues, including as child support. Our attorneys are known for the hands-on approach we take to ensure we meet each of our clients’ needs.
If you have yet to obtain child support or wish to have an existing order modified, we encourage you to call our offices at (813) 443-5249 and speak to one of our friendly attorneys in a no-obligation initial consultation.