How is child support calculated in Florida? The answer to that question is found in Section 61.13, Florida Statutes. That statute establishes the child support guidelines that are used when determining child support. This article will explain what factors are used in calculating child support and ways to protect yourself in the process. This is meant to be a general overview of child support guidelines in Florida. Although this article was written by a Gainesville, Florida child support lawyer, please consult with an attorney for further explanation.
Net Monthly Income
The first and most important factor for calculating child support in Florida is to determine both parties net incomes. This is done by taking the gross monthly income and deducting certain items. Allowable deductions include taxes, health insurance for yourself (excluding the amount for the child, which comes in later), child support paid for prior born children, and mandatory retirement contributions.
Next, to calculate child support in Florida, determine how many overnights each parent has with the child. In Florida, a parent can get credit if they spend more than 20% of the yearly overnights with the child. Keep this in mind when developing your parenting plan. Actual time spent with your child is not a factor, only overnights count towards the credit. See other posts on how timesharing is determined in Florida.
Health Insurance for the Minor Child
Whichever parent pays for the child’s health insurance will receive a credit. This can lower your overall monthly payment for child support paid to the other party while still providing a necessary expense for your child.
Likewise, daycare expenses are inputted into the child support calculation as a credit. This means that whichever parent pays for daycare will get a credit that is applied to the overall support obligation.
Uncovered Medical Expenses
Uncovered medical expenses that you actually pay for your child are credited in the child support calculation. However, a party must have proof of the receipts showing they have historically paid for the uncovered medical care. If you have paid uncovered medical expenses, send them to the other party seeking reimbursement. Keep all of your receipts and correspondence to the other party in the event you must seek court intervention. However, be aware of whether you and and the other parent have “shared parental responsibility.” If so, it is likely you both must agree on “extraordinary” care for your children.
As one can see, there are several important considerations when calculating child support in Florida. If you’re not sure how to proceed, it is best to speak to an experienced attorney. Nick Hamm is a child support lawyer in Gainesville, Florida who can provide you an honest assessment of your case. Call him at 352-888-6142.