How much is my child support going to be?
If your case involves children, child support is an issue that will need to be addressed as part of your family law matter. Under Florida law, both parents are legally obligated to provide support for their minor child or children, an obligation which cannot be waived by either party. This is because child support is considered to be the right of the child, not of either of the parties, and is intended to ensure that the basic needs of the child or children are met. The child support calculation and guidelines discussed below will take into account the child or children’s basic needs of food, water, and shelter, as well as any health insurance premium(s) and day care expenses. Costs associated with extracurricular activities and out of pocket medical/dental or other healthcare related expenses of the children are considered separate expenses, and are not included in child support. The parties’ respective financial responsibilities as to these additional expenses are typically addressed separately in a Parenting Plan as part of a divorce or paternity action.
Florida Statute 61.13 provides a formula and guidelines that directs how child support is to be calculated. The main components of a child support are going to be fact specific to your divorce or paternity case and are essentially as follows : (1) The gross (pre-tax) or net income of each of the parties, (2) the monthly health insurance premiums paid by each of the parties for themselves and/or for the minor child(ren), (3) day care costs for the minor child(ren), (4) the number of children subject to support, and (5) the timesharing and percentage of overnights that each party has with the minor child(ren). Each of these components impacts the amount of child support, if any, that should be paid in your case. The additional costs associated with health insurance or day care for the child or children is added to the basic child support obligation. The child support guidelines provides for a downward adjustment of child support when one of the parties has 20% or more of the overnights over the course of a year.
At the time child support is initially established as part of your divorce or paternity action, it can also be calculated retroactively to the date of your separation from the other party, up to a period of 24 months.
As you can see, the issue of child support is based on a number of factors and cannot simply be answered without a review and analysis of the facts of your case. It is important to address child support as part of your divorce or paternity action as early as possible to minimize any potential arrears or retroactive support that may accumulate and may be due to you or owed by you.
Sean Tobaygo and Angela Tobaygo are experienced attorneys who are both familiar with the issues and complexities associated with the calculation of child support and are ready to assist in your family law matter. Call our office today at (941) 404-8908 to set up an appointment to discuss child support and your divorce or paternity case in more detail.