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How is child support calculated under Florida law?

Although child support obligations often arise in the context of a divorce, Florida law imposes this duty on any parent, regardless of marital status. Our Orlando law firm has helped parents in a variety of family situations to better understand their legal obligation.

In Florida, the courts make available online a worksheet for determining child support. Generally speaking, a table of income levels will determine the amount of child support, adjusted for the number of children. The income of both parents is also factored into the calculation, as are expenses such as taxes, health insurance, and employment-related daycare.

Yet issues may arise even before a parent questions the monetary amount of child support he or she will be facing. For example, unmarried parents who separate may benefit from a consultation with an attorney. An attorney can explain the steps needed to finalize issues of paternity, child support, child custody, and parental visitation.

Florida’s statutory child support guidelines determine payment amounts. For matters of visitation and custody, however, parents have more flexibility to come to an arrangement among themselves. In this regard, an attorney can assist in the negotiation. An attorney’s legal training can help keep emotions cool while discussing a potentially heated topic.

After agreement has been reached, the proposal can be submitted to a family law court for approval. The standard applied by the court is the best interest of the child. Although a court's presumption may be that a child will benefit the most from the involvement of both parents, a variety of legal and physical custody arrangements are possible. Check out our firm’s family law website to learn more about our approach to child custody. 

Source: Business Wire, “New Survey of CPA Financial Planners Explores Financial Impact of Divorce on Retirement,” Feb. 9, 2017

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