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Child support arrangements play a crucial role in helping co-parents support their child(ren) after resolving a divorce or paternity case.
At K. Dean Kantaras, P.A., our Palm Harbor child support attorneys are committed to helping parents understand what they can expect from the child support system here in Florida. We help our clients pursue equitable child support arrangements that enable their children to thrive.
How do Palm Harbor Courts Calculate Child Support?
The Florida Department of Revenue (DoR) is responsible for enforcing child support orders. Florida family law courts all follow the same guidelines when calculating child support arrangements.
Florida courts take the following factors into account when calculating child support:
- Each parent's gross income. Gross income includes salary, bonuses, commissions, tips, overtime, disability benefits, workers' compensation, pension and retirement benefits, Social Security benefits, and income from sources such as interests, investment accounts, trusts, and estates. Gross income does not take into account deductions such as taxes.
- Any healthcare and childcare costs required for the child to have a good quality of life.
- Standard needs for the child. Standard needs include expenses such as housing, food, etc.
The above information dictates how much the noncustodial parent (who the child lives with a minority of the time) owes in child support.
Florida courts use a table, which you can find here, to determine how much child support the noncustodial parent owes.
For example, looking at the chart, in a case where the parents have a combined monthly net income of $6,000 and share one child, the noncustodial parent owes $1,121 per month in child support.
Can Courts Deviate From the Child Support Guidelines?
Yes. Courts actually have a fair amount of flexibility when it comes to handling child support cases.
During a child support dispute, the court considers the following variables in addition to those already covered on this page:
- Whether the child has special needs. If the child has special medical, psychological, educational, or dental needs, the court may factor in those expenses to the child support case, resulting in the noncustodial parent paying more than they normally would.
- The child's age. Older children tend to have more needs than younger children, which can affect the child support amount.
- The timeshare arrangement. In a custody arrangement where the parents share custody equally, the noncustodial parent may not have to pay much or any child support since the child lives with both parents for similar or equal amounts of time. However, if the noncustodial parent houses the child less often or only has visitation privileges, they may have to pay more in child support.
Having an experienced child support attorney at your side can help you pursue an ideal outcome in your child support case, so you don't pay more child support (or receive less) than you should.
At K. Dean Kantaras, P.A., our Palm Harbor child support attorneys will work with you to pursue an equitable child support arrangement that helps your child thrive.
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