How is Child Support Calculated?
While most people understand that establishing paternity or filing for divorce comes with the payment of child support, very few people in Florida understand how the amount of child support is calculated. The amount ordered by the court can seem confusing or frustrating, especially when you see other parents in similar situations paying very different amounts. This process does not have to be a mystery, and the experienced family law attorneys at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg in Boca Raton are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your child support case.
Florida Income Shares Model
Under Florida law, both parents have a financial responsibility to care for their child. The state uses an income shares model in order to determine the proper amount of child support that should be paid in your case. Using the income shares model, the court tries to determine how much financial support the child would have received if the parents were together and assigns each parent a percentage of that amount.
This process begins by determining the net monthly income of each parent. First, the gross monthly income is calculated, which requires all sources of income to be added together. This includes, but is not limited to, salary, wages, commissions, bonuses, overtime, tips, business income, disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment benefits, pensions, retirement accounts, Social Security benefits, spousal support from a previous relationship, and rental income. Next, all possible deductions are taken from the gross monthly income, including taxes, federal insurance contributions, mandatory union dues, health insurance payments, mandatory retirement payments, court ordered support of other children, and spousal support. This gives you a net monthly income.
The net incomes are combined and apportioned to assign the division of financial responsibility. The state provides child support guideline tables to determine what amount should be set aside for child support in total every month. For example, if the combined net income is $10,000 with the custodial parent making $4,000 per month and the noncustodial parent making $6,000 per month, the noncustodial parent would be responsible for sixty percent of the monthly guideline amount.
Other factors can come into play that may affect the amount of child support paid every month. A child’s medical needs, childcare costs, and special needs, the child’s standard of living, and the financial status and ability to pay of each parent may alter the amount of child support paid by the noncustodial parent. The court has the discretion to veer from the child support guidelines if a need arises. Furthermore, the parties’ timesharing schedule can also affect the amount of child support paid.
Talk to Our Office
If you would like to learn more about how Florida child support is calculated, call the office or contact our Boca Raton divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg to schedule a consultation of your case with an experienced family law attorney now.