As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, Florida has a set of child support guidelines that are supposed to apply to all parents in Winter Park who are living in separate homes and have children whom they legally must work to together to provide for financially. The idea behind these guidelines is to make sure that child support is fair and is relatively consistent across the state.
While most if not all other states also have child support guidelines, it is still helpful to review exactly what Florida's guidelines will consider in their formula for determining support.
Most importantly, the formula accounts for the income of both the mother and the father of the child. This is not always simply a matter of looking at each person's paystub, as many parents in Florida own their own businesses or otherwise have variable income. In other cases, a parent may not have a job but supports himself or herself in other ways. Finally, some parents may be making either no or very little money but are quite capable of doing better financially.
The guidelines also take in consideration things like health insurance costs and the cost of child care or babysitting. A child's basic financial needs are also considered via default dollar amounts based on Florida law.
It is important to note that while a judge will use the guidelines as a starting point, for good reasons, he or she might not follow them strictly. For instance, a child who has special medical needs may require additional child support, and a judge can take that in to consideration.
In any event, though, the fact child support largely gets determined by a formula does not mean it is a simple concept or one that is immune from the possibility of strife between the parents. A skilled Florida family law attorney may be an important of one's plan to obtain a fair child support order.